Marvel Studios will be releasing its next film in just under a week: Eternals. The project looks to be on an epic scale, telling the story of the Eternals, god-like beings that have now been on Earth for 7,000 years after being sent there by the Celestials—seemingly the MCU's answer to Gods.
While the movie started with positive reactions, more reviews have come in, which shifted its general reception. At one point, it was the first Marvel Studios film to hit Rotten on Rotten Tomatoes. It's since recovered, if only a little; either way, it's a sad milestone to see achieved.
No matter the quality of Eternals, with a story that tackles such large concepts in the MCU, it's easy to assume the film will be the start of huge and important future storylines—like The Avengers was for properly introducing the first Infinity Stone.
With the introduction of all these new heroes, it seems a given that the film will lead to a second and third film; trilogies are common when it comes to Marvel's franchises, after all.
According to the film's producer, Nate Moore, however, Eternals 2 & 3 might not be a foregone conclusion.
Eternals 2 & 3 Aren't Guaranteed
When Eternals was still in production, The Toronto Sun talked with producer Nate Moore about the film in an interview on set.
More specifically, they brought up how the project will compare to the Infinity Saga that came before and how the massive story may buildup to something in the future.
On the topic, Moore stated how Eternals is meant to act entirely on its own, saying that "if you just watch Eternals, you can enjoy Eternals:"
“I think the Infinity Stones fell into our lap and really helped connect things in ways that felt unexpected and earned,” he says. “If you just watch Eternals, you can enjoy Eternals , you can understand Eternals and you’re good to go.”
According to Moore, fans shouldn't expect a litany of Easter eggs and teases towards the future. The producer said that with everything going on in the film, "there was enough for us to play with:"
“We felt like there was enough story that it could be a contained universe... we definitely have ideas of how things can cross over later. But this movie, with 10 characters and Dane Whitman and the Celestials and the Deviants, there was enough for us to play with.”
When it comes to the film getting a second and third installment, Moore shared that "it's not something that is a must-have:"
“It’s not something that is a must-have. Obviously, we have ideas of where we could go, but there isn’t a hard and fast rule where we have to have three of these things and this is the first.”
So No More Eternals? (There'll Probably be More)
It's hard to believe that a movie with such enormous ideas and characters would simply be a one-off complete story and nothing more. However, what Marvel does best is tell tales that both function entirely on their own and add to the MCU tapestry, building up to future storylines and events.
As alluded by Moore, the after-credits scenes don't seem to factor into his statements. After all, what's the point of a credit stinger if not to tease the future? There's no doubt some heavy teases towards what's to come, especially given the reactions to what has already leaked.
It's also important to note that these words were said over two years ago, so many things have likely changed since then. Nevertheless, there have been countless rumors and hints at a proper sequel in the works. Moore himself even admitted that there are many characters and concepts to play with already—there's no way they'll get everything they deserve in just one outing.
Fans will have to wait to see Eternals for themselves and find out what's in store for them and the possible future when the film hits theaters on November 5.