Marvel Studios is fast approaching its latest theatrical release in Chloé Zhao’s Eternals, a movie that has built considerable anticipation for numerous reasons ahead of its November 5, 2021 release. With Hollywood’s cream of the crop behind this outing in the ranks of both production and casting, MCU fans have high hopes for one of Phase 4’s potentially best outings to date.
Looking past the obvious glitz and glamor Eternals boasts visually, the plot itself will feature a host of firsts that have never been seen in any of the MCU's other entries since 2008.
This includes putting the MCU's first deaf superhero into the spotlight with Lauren Ridloff's Makkari, who's already making headlines through clips and promotional material. Additionally, Brian Tyree Henry's Phastos will become the franchise's first openly gay superhero, adding a new level of LGBTQ+ representation with the character's husband and son seeing important screentime.
The MCU firsts don't stop there, as Zhao recently spoke about another scene that will change the game in the franchise's storytelling method.
Eternals Bringing an MCU Sex Scene
Eternals director Chloé Zhao spoke with IndieWire about the process behind bringing a full-blown sex scene in her first MCU movie.
Zhao admitted that she and Marvel Studios spent a lot of time talking about "how to do" that scene the right way within the movie, although she praised Marvel Studios for wanting "to do something different" than the rest of its entries.
Already in the works before Zhao signed onto the project, she sees superhero movies being right on the verge of doing something truly unique in today's movie landscape:
“From that moment to what you see onscreen there was definitely a lot of discussion about how to do it. But I think the desire to do something different is a very natural desire for where Marvel Studios is right now. I think it’s like Westerns coming into the revisionist period of the 70s. I think it’s happening to superhero films — or at least we’re on the edge of that. And so these scenes just started to happen naturally.”
Zhao was adamant about showing that kind of love on-screen both "emotionally" and "intellectually" along with the physical aspect of it, seeing it as "a really beautiful thing" that fans would be able to see in a Marvel movie:
“For us to be able to show two people who love each other, not just emotionally and intellectually but also physically, and to have a sex scene that will be seen by a lot of people that shows their love and compassion and gentleness — I think it’s a really beautiful thing.”
A New Step Forward in MCU Storytelling
Through the MCU's 13-year history, the only thing close to a sex scene in any movie was early in 2008's Iron Man, as Tony Stark took Christine Everhart home after a seemingly short interview for Vanity Fair. The scene played well with Tony's character from the comics and the MCU, although the franchise has a notable lack of scenes like that with emotion and heart involved.
With this scene having been in development before Eternals boasted Zhao as its director, it's clear that this was a plot point that Marvel wanted as a key moment in a movie that already had plenty of other steps forward in storytelling.
The big question that now remains is who exactly the scene will feature, particularly with more than one key love story helping push the plot forward. An interesting love triangle between Sersi, Ikaris, and Dane Whitman has made the rounds through news streams, potentially setting up two of them for a sex scene together, although they're far from the only options to utilize.
No matter which couple makes this scene happen, fans will be keeping a sharp eye on how the scene finds its place in the overarching narrative. It likely won't be graphic with the movie boasting a PG-13 rating, but this will certainly be a topic of conversation once it becomes MCU canon.
Eternals will debut in theaters on November 5, 2021.