Prior to the release of Eternals, Marvel Studios unveiled a rather exciting clip that saw a young boy confuse Ikaris for Superman, a character he saw on TV, due to the similarity in their power sets.
While only intended as an offhand reference, the nod to the Man of Steel marked a major moment, as it confirmed the DC universe exists across various forms of entertainment in the MCU, just as it does in the real world.
As Eternals quickly approaches its highly-anticipated release, director Chloe Zhao revealed Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige's thoughts on the Superman reference.
How Kevin Feige Reacted to Superman Reference
In a recent interview with Variety, Eternals director Chloe Zhao revealed how Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige reacted to the Superman reference in the film.
When asked who initially decided to reference the Man of Steel in Eternals, Zhao revealed she "[takes] responsibility for that."
The director went on to explain when she first showed Feige the script, there wasn't much discussion regarding the reference aside from an appreciative "oh, that's cool:"
“You write it on the page, show it to Kevin, if he doesn't say anything, that's a go. I don't think there was a conversation. Not really, except, he goes, ‘Oh, that's cool.'”
Zhao explained that since the genre "draws so much from mythology, and Superman," it made sense to "pay tribute to the really iconic version that we've all grown to love and has influenced us:"
“We're playing on a genre that draws so much from mythology, and Superman, for example, was created in the comics and also by these brilliant filmmakers along the way — they're modern reinterpretations of mythical characters that exist in different cultures. Ikaris is our interpretation of it. It doesn't mean we can't pay tribute to the really iconic version that we've all grown to love and has influenced us.”
A Wholesome Moment for the Superhero Genre
In an age where the comic book social media community is fueled by a constant rivalry between Marvel and DC fans, it's a wholesome moment to see Zhao paying respect to a character who has greatly influenced the entire genre.
What's particularly interesting is that the quick nod to the Man of Steel means that the entire DC world likely exists as films, comics, games, and TV shows in the Marvel universe, just as they do within our world.
While this marks one of the first references to the other side in the MCU, DC projects have been dropping mentions of the Marvel universe for years, including nods to Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, and more.
Given the popularity of these two franchises, many continue to hope and dream that they will one day crossover for the ultimate superhero team-up. In the past, there has been a multitude of crossovers between Marvel and DC in comics but never anything on the big screen.
As awesome as the idea of a Marvel and DC team-up sounds, it likely isn't something that will ever happen due to business, canonical, and logistical issues. Nonetheless, the thought of the Avengers sitting down in a theater to watch a Justice League movie and vice versa is rather funny.
Eternals hits theaters on November 5, 2021.