He may be done fighting the White Walkers, but Kit Harington isn’t putting his sword down anytime soon. While on stage at the 2019 D23 Expo on Saturday, August 24, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige revealed that Game of Thrones alum Kit Harington will be joining the MCU. Here’s who he’s playing, and just what you’ll need to know about him.
Kit Harington will be playing Dane Whitman – much better known to comic book readers as Marvel’s Black Knight – in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film Eternals, joining his one-time on-screen brother Richard Madden, who was also cast in the film.
Longtime fans of both Marvel and the Avengers will be excited to see the Black Knight’s inclusion into Marvel Studios’ massive, money-making universe. The character’s big-screen debut is finally arriving after years of rumors that the sword-wielding superhero would make the leap from the comic books to the MCU.
Dane Whitman is actually the third character to wear the mantle of the Black Knight, and he first appeared in The Avengers #47, way back in December 1967. Harington’s character is a descendant of the original Black Knight, and is the nephew of the villainous second Black Knight who perished after a fight with Iron Man. After his evil uncle died, Whitman inherited the Ebony Blade – a cursed, mystical sword that has been passed down from generation to generation – and took the Black Knight identity to help restore honor to his family name. The Black Knight has been a longtime member of many different incarnations of the Avengers’ lineup throughout the history of Marvel Comics. He’s also joined up with other popular teams like the Defenders and Heroes for Hire.
While the Black Knight has generally been featured in team-up books, he’s also had a few chances to take the spotlight for himself and shine in some solo adventures. The character and his legacy was the focus of a four-issue mini-series in 1990, with a couple of one-shot issues coming out over the years following that first solo outing. The Black Knight even had a real chance to take the comic world by storm in 2015, when Marvel decided to take on a full, line-wide soft reboot known as All-New, All-Different Marvel. The ongoing Black Knight series that spun out of that event was the first ongoing series to feature Dane Whitman as a comic book’s lead character. Unfortunately, the series was cancelled after only five issues. Still, Whitman’s Black Knight is sure to become more of a household name in light of his inclusion in the MCU – and that could mean big things for the character in the comics as well.
The announcement is huge news for Harington himself, as many have wondered what the actor’s career would look like in the face of Game of Thrones finally coming to an end after years of pop culture dominance. The 32-year-old actor has yet to find much success outside of Westeros, with the most notable non-Game of Thrones moments in his filmography being the 2014 historical disaster film Pompeii, and motion-capture work in the 2016 installment of the Call of Duty video game franchise.
If Harington is going to parlay his Game of Thrones exposure into a full-fledged, lengthy Hollywood career, he’ll have to hope Marvel can continue its streak of turning actors into household names. The likes of Chris Evans, Tom Holland, and Chris Hemsworth have the MCU to thank for their current A-list status, and with a dragon-sized hole in his schedule, Harington has to be champing at the bit to be playing another character with franchise potential.
It’s unclear how Dane Whitman will fit into The Eternals as yet. In the comics, Dane becomes romantically entangled with Sersi, who will be played in the upcoming film by Gemma Chan. Still, Feige and company are no strangers to changing up the lore and events of the source material to fit their needs on the big screen. Getting an actor as popular as Kit Harington for such a surprising role could mean the character has a big role to play in the MCU going forward. The Eternals will arrive in theaters on November 6, 2020.
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