After a series of successful Phase 4 projects throughout 2021, Marvel Studios' winning streak was thrown for a loop after the disappointing and divisive critical response to Eternals.
Despite being lauded for its stunning visuals and ambitious themes, some critics panned the sci-fi epic for its drawn out runtime and lack of ample character development which resulted in the MCU's first Rotten rating.
Even though critics have been harder on Eternals than the typical Marvel affair, fans still seem to be enjoying the movie just as much as usual for the MCU. Director Chloé Zhao also remained "eternally grateful" to Marvel Studios and fans worldwide ahead of the film's global release in spite of the poor review scores.
Longtime Marvel Studios producer Victoria Alonso recently received a promotion to President status at Marvel Studios, joining fellow heads Kevin Feige and Louis D'Esposito.
Now, Alonso has acknowledged the disappointing response to Eternals, in addition to discussing her hopes for Marvel Studios going forward.
Marvel Studios Executive Addresses Eternals' Review Scores
As reported by Variety, Marvel Studios' President of Physical, Post Production, VFX and Animation Victoria Alonso delivered a speech at the Outfest Legacy Awards, affirming the importance of LGBTQ representation for Marvel Studios going forward whilst addressing the critical response to Eternals.
Alonso acknowledged that "sometimes the critics are not with" Marvel Studios, but thanked those that wrote about Eternals all the same. The Marvel producer then mentioned that ultimately "the fans will decide:"
“We have tried to stir it up and sometimes the critics are not with us. That’s OK. That’s OK...We thank you for being a critic. We thank you for writing about us. And the fans will decide.
Alonso continued by discussing the topic of diversity in film, stating that it is not "a political game" for Marvel Studios, but "a responsibility" to the fans and supporters across the globe that come from all walks of life:
Diversity and inclusion is not a political game for us. It is 100 percent a responsibility because you don’t get to have the global success that we have given the Walt Disney Company without the support of people around the world of every kind of human there is.”
The Marvel producer reaffirmed her commitment to pushing for even more diverse narratives in the future, hoping to "create as much change as time will allow:"
“I want to do it all...I want to make sure that I get out there and I create as much change as time will allow.”
The Fans Will Decide Eternals' Future?
Eternals has suffered a tough release in comparison to many of the MCU's other entries, but Victoria Alonso is apt in stating that "the fans will decide" where the race of immortal beings go from here. The box office returns and how well audiences respond to the Eternals will ultimately determine the future of the franchise.
Eternals had a strong showing early on in previews, but has yet to match its fellow 2021 MCU theatrical releases, Black Widow and Shang-Chi, and the audience response has been generally positive judging by Rotten Tomatoes. Marvel Studios will undoubtedly take these factors into account moving forward, potentially adjusting how Eternals' story continues in order to avoid the same fallout again.
Despite the critical divide, it can't be denied that Eternals has been a huge step for representation in the MCU. The immortal team themselves represent a whole host of backgrounds and identities, with Phastos' LGBTQ+ representation being a particularly notable feat for the franchise.
Alonso seems committed to portraying individuals from even more diverse social groups, allowing for more fans around the world to be represented on-screen in the future.
Eternals is now playing in theaters.