Marvel Producer Reveals Why Iron Man & Captain America's Relationship Inspired Eternals Plot

By Russ Milheim Updated:
Marvel, MCU, Eternals, Captain America, Iron Man

One of the biggest frenemies in the MCU easily belongs to Captain America and Iron Man. The two, while close friends, always ended up butting heads. Even with everything they had gone through together, there was always something, as Captain America: Civil War showed off splendidly.

In the end, though, they always come back together. The fallout of their conflict led to defeat in Avengers: Infinity War, but their reunion led to victory in Avengers: Endgame. That's how family works; there's conflict and heavy tension at various points, but they will always come back together.

With Chloé Zhao's Eternals coming up later this year, a brand-new family dynamic is being introduced into the MCU. This time, it's a group of near god-like beings who have lived for thousands of years—imagine spending that much time with your family. 

Even better, imagine if Steve and Tony had to spend that amount of time together; Zhao and her team did.


Eternals Avengers

Eternals producer Nate Moore and director Chloé Zhao sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss Zhao's upcoming Marvel Studios debut, Eternals.

In their conversation, Moore revealed an interesting inspiration that the creative team had during development. In developing how the Eternals functioned as a family and got along (or didn't), he said the team "joked that it's like if Tony Stark and Steve Rogers lived together for [7,000 years]:"

"It's a little bit like being on a road trip with nine of your closest friends for 7,000 years... In development, we joked that it's like if Tony Stark and Steve Rogers lived together for that long. That friendship will turn into frenemies, and then turn into enemies, and then come back to friendship because you have that common bond. It's like a family."

On the other hand, one of the most intriguing elements of Eternals for Zhao was the film's scale and how she was treating the Earth as its own character in the film. According to the director, she was able to "be intimate and explore all of the internal struggles we have as human beings:"

"I thought, I can go as big and as epic as our meaning in the cosmos, but I can also go intimate and explore all of the internal struggles we have as human beings... Because these characters have lived among us for so long, [they have] the same struggles like identity, purpose, faith, personal freedom versus greater good — all the duality and flaws that make us human." 


If a film like Captain America: Civil War is anything to go by, it doesn't seem like the Eternals are going to be a perfect team. Given this development, it now seems like that dinner table scene glimpsed at in the first trailer may be a rare moment of peace for them.

It makes sense that this would be the case because, after all, a perfect family wouldn't be all that interesting to watch. In addition to the Stark/Rogers antics, the MCU is no stranger to dysfunctional families; Thor brought fans Thor and Loki while Guardians of the Galaxy introduced the world to Gamora's messy familial situation.

After all, in addition to whatever dynamics are at play within the core group of the ten Eternals, rumor has it that the film will be retaining Thanos' connection to the titular team that can be found in the comics. After all, any reason to bring Thanos back into the fold is a great development.

Fans can finally watch Eternals when it drops into theaters on November 5, 2021.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.