Eternals is set to explore a storyline that spans a thousand years, giving a whole new perspective to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Eternals is the third film in the massive Phase 4 slate of the MCU, and it is directed by Academy Award-winning director Chloe Zhao. Gemma Chan's Sersi has been confirmed to be the lead character of the movie, but she will be joined by an all-star ensemble that includes the likes of Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, and Richard Madden.
Given that it is set in the larger MCU, Zhao confirmed in an interview that Eternals "completely stands alone," but it will have "huge implications" for the rest of the MCU moving forward.
Now, new details about Eternals' impact on the MCU have emerged.
Kevin Feige Teases Eternals' Impact on the MCU
In the latest Eternals featurette, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige revealed that the upcoming MCU film will explore "the very creation of the Marvel universe itself."
The Marvel executive also shared that the impact that Eternals will have on the MCU "will be nothing less than redefining the cinematic universe entirely."
Alongside the reveal, Eternals director Chloe Zhao sat down with Fandango to break down Feige's quotes.
Zhao explained Feige's reveal that Eternals will redefine the Marvel universe by saying that it points to the direction of "discovering the origin of the MCU through the mythology of the Celestials" in the film:
"Well, let’s see… I think a big part of it is that audiences will be discovering the origin of the MCU through the mythology of the Celestials. I think by the end of the film, we will have a new understanding of planet Earth’s relationship with the cosmos, and also with her own inhabitants. But in that sense, it would have a huge effect on the future of the MCU."
Eternals is set after Avengers: Endgame, meaning that it will explore the effect of Hulk's snap when he brought back half of the population in the universe. Zhao described the Blip as something that has "this huge ecological implication," prompting the cosmic immortals to "get back to work:"
"Well, the film is set after the Avengers brought back half of the population in the universe and on the planet. So, the way we look at an event like that is always, for us, it is seen as this huge ecological implication [if] something like that happened to our planet. So, between that ecological implication, and the sudden mysterious return of the Deviants, it's time for the Eternals to get back to work."
How Will Eternals Redefine the MCU?
Kevin Feige and Chloe Zhao's comments suggest that Eternals will change how fans understand the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. This is despite the fact that the film will feature a standalone narrative.
This makes sense, especially considering the story will span thousands of years. Eternals' official synopsis confirmed that the plot will explore "two time periods," and this should give the movie enough time for its balancing act of juggling the standalone story and its wider effect on the rest of the Marvel franchise.
The same formula was explored during Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Many would agree that the Simu Liu-led MCU project did an impressive job in pushing Shang-Chi's story to the forefront while also leaving major hints on the film's impact on the larger MCU through the Ten Rings artifact and its origins.
The same could be true for Eternals, and it could be much easier due to its already-confirmed connections to the Celestials. While the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise introduced the ancient entities through cosmic expositions about the Infinity Stones and Ego during Vol. 2, it seems that Eternals will likely do a deep dive into the origins of this race to provide a much deeper understanding of their history and motivations.
Zhao has already hinted that the mythology of the Celestials could be the key to discovering the origin of the MCU, so it's possible that this ancient race might have a major connection to Earth.
Meanwhile, it's no secret that the Blip that transpired during Avengers: Endgame is a major event, and this could explain why the Deviants returned to the planet. There's a strong chance that Hulk's snap served as a beacon, with the Deviants answering the call.
As a result, the Eternals would need to reunite to stop their long-lost enemies, but there could be a much more nefarious baddie pulling the strings from behind. If this is true, then it would mean that the cosmic immortals would need to stay put and alert the Avengers for an unknown battle.
This is pure speculation at this point, but many would agree that there's a high chance that the Eternals will stick around when the credits roll.
Eternals is set to premiere in theaters on November 5, 2021.