How Marvel's Inhumans Prevented Eternals Movie From Visiting Special Setting

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Eternals, Inhumans

Marvel Studios is well into its latest theatrical run with the MCU's twenty-sixth movie, Eternals, which is continuing to make headlines for the story it's helping add to the MCU narrative. With nearly a dozen new characters taking their place alongside Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Marvel Cosmic looks to add another level of excitement with heroes that have such a storied history on Earth and in the cosmos.

Director Chloé Zhao and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige put in their best effort to make this movie stand out in any way possible, even amongst so many excellent entries from the Infinity Saga and Phase 4. Some of this came within the story, delivering the MCU's first deaf hero and first LGBTQ+ hero, but it also came with Zhao's insistence on using stunning real-world locations for the movie's shoot.

It appears that Zhao was given nearly free reign to do what she wanted with Eternals, which included bringing the cast and crew to gorgeous locations like London and the Canary Islands to shoot the film's footage.

However, a new report revealed that there was one location that was off-limits, not only for Eternals but for Marvel Studios as a whole.

Marvel Never Going Back to Hawaii


Warning: This article contains spoilers for Marvel Studios' Eternals.
Inverse spoke with Eternals writers Ryan and Kaz Firpo about some of the influences behind their script from Marvel's past, specifically touching on the failures of the ABC show Inhumans.

When asked how much that show's collapse played a role in developing Eternals, Kaz Firpo revealed that the only thing that played a part in this regard was that the islands of Hawaii were off-limits for filming.

The cowriter admitted that Hawaii is now off-limits for Marvel Studios because "Inhumans totally burned that bridge" long before Eternals went into development.

"In the Marvel Universe there's a lot of synergy, but also individuals telling great stories. There isn't this algorithm that makes Marvel movies great. They hire people who love what they do and let them do what they love.

For us, Inhumans was part of that conversation only insofar as — this is a true story — they said, 'You can't go to Hawaii.' Nobody gets to go to Hawaii because Inhumans totally burned that bridge. Beyond that, there wasn’t someone saying like, 'We can’t do this, can’t do that.' The door really was open for us."

Inhumans Left a Bad MCU Mark

Even as successful as the MCU has been for so long, Marvel Studios still has its handful of black marks throughout the years. Safe to say, Inhumans is unequivocally one of those marks after its tumultuous run on ABC in 2017.

Initially introduced as a Phase 3 movie at Marvel's El Capitan event in late 2014, Inhumans was reworked into an eight-episode TV show that premiered alongside Season 4 of Agents of SHIELD on ABC. The show was shot on-location in Hawaii, although upon its release, it earned some of the poorest reviews of any Marvel project from critics and fans alike.

The Inhumans' place in the MCU's future is still a mystery, but that disastrous effort left such a bad taste in audiences' mouths that the company seems to want to move past it by any means necessary. 

Despite this, Eternals still managed to bring incredible visuals to the big screen with the international locations used to tell the wide-spanned adventure. Whether Hawaii becomes an option for shooting again in the future is anybody's guess; although, with Feige's resolve, it shouldn't be something fans look forward to.

Eternals is currently playing in theaters worldwide. Inhumans is available to stream on Disney+.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.