'The Eternals' Digs Into The Cosmic Side Of The MCU, But What About 'Fantastic Four' And 'X-Men'?

The Eternals will be the second and final film that Marvel Studios releases in 2020, and it's also the second film of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Following in the footsteps of Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel, the film will dig deeper into the cosmic side of the MCU than we've ever gone before. That's because The Eternals are a group of immortals who have been around forever, and the Celestials who have tasked them with protecting Earth have been around even longer. And Marvel boss Kevin Feige says The Eternals movie will explore what they've been up to. But what about Fantastic Four and X-Men? What can we expect from their eventual arrival in the MCU? Find out

In case you missed the news over the weekend, The Eternals will focus on the characters Ikaris (Richard Madden), Thena (Angelina Jolie), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), Sprite (Lia McHugh), Gilgamesh (Don Lee), and Ajak (Salma Hayek), who is a mother figure for the team. They've been on Earth for 35,000 years, so they've been around longer than any of the other superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even Thor.

Speaking with ComicBook.com briefly after the Marvel Studios panel last weekend, Feige offered up this the team:

"It will be a story that will introduce you to this incredibly eclectic group of immortals, they're the focus of the story," Feige admits. "It takes place in our universe — it takes place in the MCU, so you'll hear mentions and stuff about it but yes, the Celestials go back a long way. We know a little bit about them. The Collector told us about Celestials, Knowhere is the severed head of a Celestial. Ego was involved with them, but we learn much more about their agenda and what they've been up to."

It's interesting that Feige says The Celestials have an agenda. That makes us wonder if maybe the Celestials won't end up being good guys entirely. After all, one of the Celestials was seen destroying a planet with the Power Stone when The Collector explained the origins of The Infinity Stones to the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Another tidbit that gives us pause in trusting the Celestials entirely is Feige saying Peter Quill's father Ego was involved with them. As we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Ego's plan wasn't all that friendly to the survival of the universe. Is there a chance Ego was acting on orders from the Celestials at that time? That seems unlikely if the Celestials have tasked The Eternals with protecting Earth from The Deviants, but I'm betting there's something that's not so noble about these ancient beings.

Plus, since The Eternals are immortal, there's a chance this movie could span a huge length of time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Maybe we'll see events set far back in time and running up through the present day of the MCU. It's not clear if the only threat they'll face in the movie will be The Deviants, or if there's something more menacing at play that will be part of the future of the MCU.

The Eternals is slated for release on November 6, 2020.

Fantastic Four and X-Men

However, the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will likely end up expanding in other ways as Marvel Studios continues to expand their roster of characters. That includes Fantastic Four and X-Men, which were mentioned as being projects on the way in a quick flurry of titles that Kevin Feige mentioned at the end of the Marvel Studios panel last weekend. If you're hoping for those characters to arrive soon, though, you might be waiting awhile.

When asked what the mere mention of those characters meant, Feige told ComicBook.com, "That means that we have them back and we are working towards it." When the issue was pressed even more by Variety, Feige said:

"I'm extremely excited about those characters and about bringing Marvel's First Family up to the platform and the level that they deserve."

However, he also reiterated that they're not at a point where they've hammered down a story for either of those superhero teams, and they're nowhere near starting to cast any of them. So any rumors you hear at this point are just that. Perhaps that's why there wasn't an Avengers movie revealed as part of Phase Four. Maybe they're building to something bigger with the introduction of Fantastic Four and X-Men on the horizon.

Either way, it's safe to say that Fantastic Four will help to further connect the cosmic side of the MCU with what's happening on Earth. As for the X-Men, that sounds like the more difficult prospect to bring into the MCU, especially because their roster of characters is so expansive. And when you have characters like Magneto whose origin is so closely tied with real history, how do you bring mutants into the fray while keeping some of those thematic elements intact, especially in a world where humans don't really fear superheroes anymore. We'll just have to wait and see.