This is not something I ever thought would happen but it looks like MCU’s Eternals will have a Bollywood dance number. Back in December 2019, Collider visited CCXP Sao Paulo, Brazil and was treated to glimpses of Eternals raw footage and saw what they describe as “Kumail Nanjiani decked out in colourful garb and makeup, dancing, surrounded by ensemble dancers in a seemingly Bollywood-inspired scene.”
On the surface, it sounds ridiculous, even for someone who grew up watching Indian films. However, the brilliant comedian has provided some context for the scene in the New Hollywood podcast.
A lot of it takes place in the present day. My character, for instance, is like ‘OK we’re supposed to keep a low profile, no one should know.’ So I become a Bollywood movie star, that’s my secret identity. We’re supposed to keep quiet and I’ve become the biggest Bollywood movie star.
I’m not sure how I feel about this, not because I think action films and musical dance numbers can’t go hand in hand (again, I grew up watching Indian films and the concept works) but because industries outside of India has the tendency to either not pull it off or make a complete mockery of it. The dance numbers in the 2019 Aladdin were fun, but they’re pale imitations of some of the great dance sequences in Indian films (I’ll link a couple of videos below). And don’t even get me started on Kung-Fu Yoga.
Having said that, Nanjiani went on to explain the importance of the dance number in Eternals, as far as representation goes. He jokingly quipped:
I was like, we went from, like, none of us, to so many in one scene! I took months of Bollywood dance classes to prepare for that. It’s really a workout… and you know, there’s like 52 dancers, and 51 of them are professional dancers, and then there’s me!