Warning - This article contains spoilers from Eternals.
Marvel Studios’ Eternals has arrived in theaters worldwide, giving fans across the globe new heroes to look up to.
The film includes an all-star cast, with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, and more. With so many new additions to the MCU, everyone is bound to have their own favorite of the bunch.
One of the really intriguing new characters is Barry Keoghan’s Druig, who has lost his faith in humanity due to their greed, jealousy, and violence. He ends up using his mind control powers to control his own little town, protecting its inhabitants from their own destructive nature.
What’s interesting about Druig, is that in the pages of the original comics, the character is usually more of a villain. Yet, in the finished film, he never truly comes off as such but retains all of his comic book counterpart's traits.
So how did the writers approach his character and maintain that balance?
Is Eternals' Druig a Villain?
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Direct’s Russ Milheim, Eternals screenwriters Ryan and Kaz Firpo discussed Barry Keoghan’s Druig, and how they managed to translate the character from the pages to the screen.
In the comics, Druig tends to lean more towards the villainous side of things. In Eternals, the character maintains all the same powers and beliefs, yet never comes off as a true villain or even the worst of the bunch.
So how did the Firpo cousins pull off balancing Druig's dark side while still making him feel heroic?
According to Ryan, “if you think about his power,” Druig is going to “understand [humans] on a level that’s deeper than a lot of the other Eternals:”
“Obviously, the Eternals are grappling with their faith in humanity over these thousands of years that they’ve been keeping watch. So when it comes to the ultimate debate, the group falls on one of two sides of that debate, and with Druig in particular, if you think about his power, he spends so much time inside of humans' minds. So he’s [basically going to] understand them on a level that’s deeper than a lot of the other Eternals, who just cannot achieve that perspective.”
The writer continued on to say that “Druig [is] a very tragic figure,” and that “he appreciates all [of humanity's] power, but also sees the dangers:”
“...And so I think that makes Druig a very tragic figure, because he both loves humanity and he appreciates all their potential, but he also sees the dangers, and the downfalls of human nature, and witnesses those firsthand, and so he really feels humanity on a level that other people don’t.”
When it comes to Druig constantly trying to control the humans he’s around, Ryan clarified that he “[isn’t] doing it for a sense of power… [but] from a place of love:”
“...so his desire to control humanity doesn’t come from a [megalomaniacal] place, he’s not doing it for a sense of power, he’s doing it from a place of love. I think that’s why you get that balance where what he’s doing is technically not very kosher, but he’s not doing it just to control these people and make them into slaves, he’s doing it to protect them. So I think that’s where you get that balance.”
The Ever-Understanding Druig
It’s really interesting to think about how being in the minds of humans puts Druig in a unique spot amongst the Eternals. The Firpos are right; his perspective is not one which any of the Eternals can have, not even Sersi, who generally is the one in the family closest to humankind.
Barry Keoghan does such an amazing job at bringing to life Druig’s mentality, showcasing both his admiration and distrust with humanity as a whole.
If the end of the movie is any indication, it seems like Druig will be taking more of a leading role. Makkari, Thena, and himself are the only ones left—and it’ll be up to them, and newcomer Eros, to find the rest of their kidnapped family.
A lot of his time in Eternals was spent focusing on his thoughts towards humans, so it will be interesting to see how Druig may evaluate different species on other planets throughout the cosmos. Maybe humans won’t seem so bad after all.
Eternals is now playing in theaters worldwide.