This weekend, Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao joined Christopher Nolan and Giannis Antetokounmpo in the ranks of People Who Have Forced My Male Coworkers to Care About Harry Styles. I’ve trusted Chloé Zhao since she admitted that she not only used to write fan fiction, but still does when she’s not directing Marvel movies and winning Oscars. And so it should come as no surprise, really, that she is responsible for introducing iconic Wattpad boyfriend Harry Styles to the MCU as Marvel’s greatest celestial casanova, Eros. The pop superstar appeared in the first of two post-credit scenes at the end of Zhao’s Eternals as one of the MCU’s newest, buzziest characters.
“Harry as Eros was very much a package deal for me,” Zhao told Deadline. “After meeting him I realized he is that character. … There’s so much of Eros in him.”
For those of us who don’t really care about the minutiae of the MCU, what is the most important thing to know about Eros?
Yes, so he also has all sorts of impressive powers and an unfortunate relation to the giant purple thumb that is Thanos. But Eros also spends a lot of time traveling the galaxy and getting it on. (Though he has, at times, abused his powers of emotional manipulation, it’s unlikely Disney will keep that part of his mythology intact.) Considering Harry is wrapping up his Love on Tour concert series this month, in which he went from city to city in a range of sequined outfits charming fans and baring tattoos, this isn’t much of a leap.
Harry’s Eternals post-credit scene confirms that his movie character will be just as flirtatious as his 2-D counterpart—Eros struts down a spaceship corridor to the tune of “Feels Like the First Time” as though it’s the main stage at Madison Square Garden, tossing a pickup line at Angelina Jolie then single-handedly sets up the second Eternals movie. As for his exuberant, leprechaun-esque friend Pip? Well, there’s a Niall Horan joke to be made there, but I’ll let it slide.
This is obviously a huge moment for the continued success of Harry Styles—aside from the MCU, he has multiple feature film roles coming up, including a starring turn in romance drama My Policeman and a role opposite Florence Pugh in the much-anticipated Don’t Worry Darling—but also for two massive fandoms that together pretty handily dominate the internet. The MCU already laid claim to most of the biggest actors in Hollywood; now they’re folding in pop’s biggest stars?
Frankly, I have never felt more alive. There’s just so much to consider: Does Gucci make custom space suits? If Harry is part of the MCU, why didn’t we work him into Thor: Love and Thunder so that he could participate in longtime friend Rita Ora’s throuple adventures Down Under? And can he write an original song for Eternals 2 so we can take the next step toward an EGOT?
Finally, I would be a terrible Directioner if I did not note that this is actually Harry’s second appearance as a big-screen superhero—the first was during a fan-favorite cover of “Teenage Dirtbag” in 2013’s One Direction: This Is Us documentary.
Perhaps Eternals 2 could take a lesson from this performance and give Harry a musical number. Does Eros sing in the comic books? Actually, it doesn’t matter—he does now.