Even though Marvel Studios' latest film Eternals has yet to receive a domestic release, and despite some of the divisive commentary surrounding the new film, it's possible that an Eternals 2 is already in the works.
In addition to early rumors that a sequel was already in development, Eternals star Angelina Jolie possibly confirmed Eternals 2 at the film's premiere, while director Chloe Zhao has expressed "she would be back in a second" to work with Marvel.
Since most audiences have yet to see the film, sequel talk may sound a little premature; but then again, when it comes to the MCU, there's no such thing as a one and done.
Now, just ahead of the film's broad release, new comments from the Eternals director imply that Marvel's cosmic heroes likely won't be alone if or when they do return to the big screen.
Nomadland Actress to Join Marvel's Eternals 2?
When Chloe Zhao was asked by Yahoo if Nomadland actress Frances McDormand could be convinced to join the MCU, the Eternals director responded, saying, "I think she wants to:"
"I think she wants to. I think she's open to it. Yeah, I think she's open to it. I think she wants to do something really fun. I think she would want to do something unexpected because that's Fran. She's always challenging herself."
While Frances McDormand was a critically acclaimed actress before starring Zhao's Indie film Nomadland, McDormand won best actress for her leading role in the film. The movi itself won best picture and secured Zhao a win as best director.
When asked if she had spoken to Frances McDormand about her interest in a Marvel role, Zhao smiled and only offered, "No comment," although she later admitted, "Fran can do anything."
Academy Award Winners, Assemble (Within the MCU)
As it stands, an Eternals sequel has yet to be confirmed. But Zhao's reaction in this new interview, coupled with previous statements from her and others at Marvel Studios, implies that plans for a second film are likely on par with No Way Home's multiple Spideys as Marvel's worst-kept secret.
Now, in terms of Frances McDormand's involvement, Zhao's confidence in her thinking about what McDormand would want implies that she actually doesn't think but knows. Also, when asked directly, Zhao's "no comment" certainly wasn't a denial.
While a Nomadland reunion within the MCU makes for a great story, having the Academy Award winner as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe would only lend to Marvel Studios' credibility and could help sway Hollywood to view the studio's films and shows in a more fair and positive light.
In the meantime, speculation will no doubt continue with regard to Eternals 2, and perhaps why Marvel's 2022-2023 slate was delayed the same day as Eternals Los Angeles premiere.
Eternals hits theaters on November 5.