Marvel wanted to keep Harry Styles' 'Eternals' role a secret. Too late

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A man smiling in a yellow plaid jacket and purple boa
Pop musician Harry Styles attends the 2021 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. (Jordan Strauss / Invision/Associated Press)

Warning: This story contains major spoilers for Marvel's "Eternals," which is out Nov. 5.

Harry Styles has joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Or rather, Marvel has joined the Harry Styles Cinematic Universe as the singer continues to build up his acting résumé.

After more than a year of industry rumblings and rampant fan theories, a post-credits scene at the world premiere screening of Chloé Zhao's "Eternals" in Hollywood confirmed Monday that Styles has become a Marvel superhero as Eros, brother of Thanos.

Thanos is, of course, Josh Brolin's omnipotent supervillain who "snaps" half the world's population into oblivion at the climactic conclusion of 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War."

In the Marvel comics, Eros — also known as Starfox — is positioned as an anti-Thanos figure, known for his carefree personality and romantic charm. Eros, who, like Styles, possesses psychic powers capable of manipulating people's emotions, is also a member of the Eternals, a coalition of cosmic beings tasked with preventing the demise of humanity.

During the major post-credits reveal Monday night, audience members shrieked upon seeing Styles' face on the big screen at the Dolby Theatre. Variety film reporter Matt Donnelly, who attended the screening, was the first to break the news of Styles' MCU debut via Twitter that evening.

The former One Direction heartthrob launched his acting career in 2017 with Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk." Up next, he's set to star in Olivia Wilde's sophomore film, "Don't Worry Darling," opposite Oscar nominee Florence Pugh and "Eternals" cast mate Gemma Chan. Also in the pipeline for Styles is Michael Grandage’s “My Policeman,” co-starring Emmy-winning “Crown” actor Emma Corrin.

Rumors of the "Watermelon Sugar" hitmaker's foray into the MCU date back to a cryptic September 2020 tweet from freelance film writer Kris Tapley about a "Marvel movie no one knows" Styles is in.

In August, "Eternals" star Kit Harington carefully fielded a barrage of questions from "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon regarding Styles' rumored role in the highly anticipated tentpole.

"I have no idea," Harington said when asked point blank by Fallon whether Styles appears in the movie. "Unless I've been recast and he's playing my part — not a clue."

But Fallon wasn't convinced.

"So you didn't run into him or anything?" the comedian pressed. "You guys did scenes separately?"

"I — ooh," Harington said, laughing. "No comment. ... I hear he's a great guy. ... Lovely chap, I think. I don't know. I've never met the guy."

Marvel's "Eternals," directed by Oscar winner Zhao ("Nomadland") and featuring Grammy winner Styles, hits theaters Nov. 5.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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