Eternals update

After Captain Marvel hits theaters next week, there are only two Marvel Studios movies that are officially slotted onto the release calendar: Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. But we know there are several more in the works beyond that, and one of those projects is Eternals, an adaptation of Jack Kirby‘s comic about a war between alien races.

While on the interview circuit promoting Captain Marvel, producer Kevin Feige gave a brief Eternals update in which he loosely compared the Eternals movie to Guardians of the Galaxy and implied it could span “tens of thousands of years”.

Speaking with Collider, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige spoke about what we can expect from the company’s “Phase 4,” teasing that everything after Far From Home will be “different” and “unique,” but also including a hint at what’s to come with Eternals:

“…Seeing returning characters is certainly something we’re gonna do and want to do. But also introducing characters that the majority of the world has never heard of, much like Guardians, much like Avengers before we made Avengers. And there are lots of them. Eternals are one group, but we like the idea of introducing an ensemble, doing an ensemble movie from the start, as opposed to building up as we did with the first Avengers. More like Guardians, not tonally, but in terms of introducing a new group of people. You were asking about ’60s, and ’70s before. Jack Kirby did an immense, amazing epic with Eternals that spans tens of thousands of years, and that’s also something we haven’t really done, which is why that among many other things post-Endgame, we find appealing.”

In the comics, the Celestials (an advanced alien race who have briefly appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise) visited Earth five million years ago and performed genetic experiments on early forms of life here, creating a path for mutants to exist. In the process, Celestials created two new races: the Eternals and the Deviants, who ultimately became bitter enemies.

The Eternals are basically immortal, living for millennia and possessing superhuman strength and the powers of flight, teleportation, shooting blasts of heat and energy from their hands, and mind control. The Deviants, on the other hand, are physically deformed creatures who don’t have a comparable power set. One side clearly got a raw deal in that situation.

Feige’s comments aren’t hard confirmation that the Eternals movie could take place over such a lengthy period of time, but that would certainly be one way for the film to stand out among its contemporaries. A space-set film with an alien cast and a wildly different time structure sounds like a way for Feige and company to continue to mix things up in the MCU and not fall into a creative rut. And if the idea strikes them, they could also go back in and retroactively reveal that some of the events we’ve seen thus far in the MCU may have been put in motion by a Celestial or Eternal character, which would open up a whole new set of questions and force fans to reckon with the studio’s entire filmography in a new way. Again, there’s technically no confirmation about that yet, but it would certainly be one way to keep things “different” and “unique.”

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