Marvel Studios is known for taking bold risks throughout the years due to its consistency in terms of introducing new and unfamiliar heroes and villains into the mix. 2008's Iron Man set the precedent for that, considering that the character is (or was, at least) categorized into the less popular category when that film debuted.
Despite that, the Robert Downey Jr.-led project thrived on the box office, ultimately leading to the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the process. The risk didn't stop there since Marvel continued the trend by giving heroes like Captain America, Thor, and the Guardians of the Galaxy their own movie franchises as well.
This formula served as the game-changer, and it appears that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and his crew will continue to go all-out in Phase 4. One of the major properties that will debut in the ambitious slate is Chloe Zhao's Eternals.
The film had its fair share of delays, but it finally settled on a November release date later this year. After teasing fans from a wide array of leaked promotional images and interviews, marketing for Eternals has officially begun with the arrival of its first trailer.
The trailer itself is filled with Zhao's imprint and style alongside the star-studded showcase of its main cast that will be played by the likes of Angelina Jolie, Kit Harington, and Salma Hayek. In addition, it was also infused with subtle references to the larger MCU, and a significant one may have been missed even by the ever-growing number of eagle-eyed MCU fans.
CAPTAIN AMERICA EASTER EGGS IN ETERNALS
The first official trailer of Eternals is filled with Easter eggs & references, with a surprising amount of them pointing to Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America.
One of the blink-and-you'll-miss-it details from the trailer is the inclusion of Steve Rogers' original USO shield from Captain America: The First Avenger.
At the 1:31 mark of the trailer, Lia McHugh's Sprite appears to be celebrating inside the jet that appears to belong to Kumail Nanjani's Kingo (as indicated by the "K" on the door), and a familiar-looking weapon can be seen in the background.
This seems to imply that Kingo is a big Captain America fan, with the Eternal showing the utmost respect to the Avenger. It is currently unknown if this shield is a replica or the real deal.
By looking closely, this evidence also suggests that Kingo is rich, as evidenced by his own private jet and a treasure chest of luxury items.
To recap, The Direct already pointed out that a sneaky callback to the Star-Spangled Avenger was included in an action-packed sequence involving Angelina Jolie's Thena. The powerful Eternal can be seen fighting off different enemies, with one soldier seemingly wielding a shield similar to the design of Cap's iconic weapon.
On a separate note, the Eternals trailer ended on a much lighter note by referencing — you guessed it — Captain America.
In the final scene, Sprite mentioned the fact that “Captain Rogers and Iron Man” are already gone, essentially confirming that the group is aware of what happened during Avengers: Endgame.
A STAR-SPANGLED CONNECTION IN ETERNALS
The fact that the Eternals are aware of the heroism and legacy of Steve Rogers suggests that they have an in-depth knowledge of the rest of the Avengers as well. However, Steve's disappearance is still a lingering mystery for the MCU, and the group of cosmic beings don't seem to be any wiser on that front.
While this intriguing story beat will be addressed in a future Marvel project (likely Captain America 4), it's pretty telling that the beings who observed countless triumphs and tragedies from human history are simply not aware of what really happened to Steve Rogers after the events of Avengers: Endgame.
Regardless, Kingo's admiration of the former Avengers leader is significant. Even though the Eternals didn't interfere with world-changing events like Thanos' decimation, this goes to show that super-powered immortals can still idolize strong mortals who protect the Earth from imminent destruction.
This also symbolizes the huge impact that Steve left on Earth, and it will be interesting to find out if other Eternals like Sersi or Thena will namedrop other heroes like Doctor Strange or Thor regarding their contributions to the ever-changing world.
Eternals will premiere in theaters on November 5, 2021.