The only aspect of Eternals ' story that fans know about is that an unexpected tragedy forces these ancient aliens to reunite to fight an ancient enemy, the Deviants. Unfortunately, many of the Eternals are scattered across the world, living their own lives, and must be sought out.
Some Eternals have been living normal lives on Earth, such as Brian Henry's Phastos, who lives as a human with a husband and child . But, comparatively, some are living self-indulgent lives, like Kumail Nanjiani's Kingo, who has become a bombastic Bollywood star with an ego so big he always has a cameraman by his side .
These fatal flaws within the Eternals roster has led star Richard Madden to compare the film to another popular superhero franchise.
MADDEN COMPARING THE BOYS TO ETERNALS
In an interview with GQ , actor Richard Madden discussed his role as Ikaris in Eternals .
Despite principal photography for Eternals having wrapped in January 2021, Madden mentioned ongoing reshoots and additional dialogue sessions as being ongoing, which led to some concerns from the actor, such as, "Do I still fit into that skintight superhero outfit after lockdown?”
Madden goes on to describe typical activities he went through on set, such as fighting, what he called “a duvet on a huge rubber ball,” and crew members holding up cardboard cut-outs, presumably meant to represent Deviants.
Madden explained and showed that he would squint intensely on set with his "laser eyes," a power he'll have in the film:
“Or lots of laser eyes, like that... [squints dramatically] ...because I've got laser eyes.”
The actor insists in the interview that, because the characters are ancient and ageless beings who have experienced everything, it helps elevate the film “above just another superhero movie."
“It's about, ‘OK, so how do they interact with the world now, when they've done everything?'”
Madden then teed up numerous questions that Eternals will presumably answer.
“What are these people like? And what do they value and care about? What doesn't affect them?”
According to Madden, superhero films have always been done straight, but that everyone is ready for something fresh. The actor pointed to The Boys , a series that shows enhanced and immortal superheroes as flawed, narcissistic people hiding behind a public persona.
Madden hopes that Eternals will accomplish something as interesting as that Amazon Prime series.
“We've done that classic thing...so it's now about how do we make it more interesting? I'm hoping we have done that with Eternals. The Marvel Universe keeps changing and elevating and growing, and I really think we're doing something that they've not done yet.”
NOT AS BENEVOLENT AS THEY APPEAR?
It's interesting that Madden would use The Boys of all things to compare themes that he hopes Eternals will match in-depth. Fans haven't gotten many looks at the Eternals in the MCU, but there were some revelations in the first trailer for the film.
Regardless, flawed members of the Eternals' ranks are plausible. From Kingo's ego to Barry Keoghan's Druig's selfish ideals , it is only appropriate that some of this all-powerful ancient race would not be all good.
As was the case in the comics, the Eternals in the MCU aided humanity in their development as a species, based upon the pseudoscientific theory of ancient aliens. Comic writer and artist Jack Kirby was obviously inspired by the theory and Erich Von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods when he created the Eternals.
There has been pushback on this kind of pseudoscience over the decades, as many believe the idea to be routed in European ethnocentrism and racism. Not to mention that the idea of aliens having helped humanity ignores real achievements accomplished by humanity's ancestors, along with dismissing the true ingenuity of the human species.
Eternals could put this pseudo-archaeology under a microscope when it's released in theaters on November 5, 2021.