The Eternals has officially been announced at the San Diego Comic-Con, and we have our first glance at the cast who will help to usher in the next phase of the MCU in 2020. With the familiar cheer and excitement of Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige on stage, we quite a few things about the film: The Rider’s Chloe Zhao will direct, Angelina Jolie will play Thena, Richard Madden will play Icarus, Kumail Nanjiani will play Kingo, Lauren Ridloff will play Makkari, Bryan Tyree Henry will play Phastos, Salma Hayek will play Ajak, Lia McHugh will play Sprite, and Don Lee will take on the final role of Gilgamesh.
Zhao spoke about what thematic elements we can expect, stating “It’s about this group of incredible immortals but through their journey we really get to explore what it means to be human and humanity on our time on this planet.”
So what can we expect from the film? There is so much potential storytelling here; we have another group of individuals who can broaden their setting past planet Earth like the Guardians of the Galaxy, and they are thousands of years old to boot.
Just as we saw Captain Marvel deal with events on Earth long before most of the MCU films, we may also see the characters contend with something in previous eras that shapes the world to come.
With that said, this is likely to be a simple “origin” movie for the Eternals as a group, as they are all unknown characters in the MCU. This might lead to a simple, but necessary, formulaic story line against their most frequent opponents, the Deviants. These are a group of genetically altered individuals created by the Celestials, just as the Eternals were, but only to cause trouble.
While fans may be bored of origin stories, we need to consider what happened to Justice League when it decided to skip the character development of most of its cast. The result was a film with a story that struggled to establish itself in the landscape of superhero films.
Regardless of the story line selected for the film, it is nonetheless interesting to consider how the Eternals will tie into the larger picture of the MCU. Currently the largest properties that seem to be leading the way into Phase IV of the MCU are Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Captain Marvel.
With that in mind, Marvel still has yet to fill in the spot for an unnamed Marvel film in 2022. If Black Panther 2 takes that spot - and our prediction here at TheGamer is correct about its plot revolving around a war with Atlantis and Namor - then we may be seeing an adaptation of a The Eternals story line set 18,000 years ago when a battle between Celestials, Deviants, and Eternals resulted in the sinking of Atlantis.
It's a hypothesis that relies on a lot of other hypotheses, but still, with the information we have - or lack thereof - it's as good a guess as any. For now, we'll have to wait for Marvel to reveal more of their plans for their next phase.
The Eternals is slated to release in theatres on November 6th, 2020.