Marvel Studios Teases Eternals’ Future Impact on the MCU

By Savannah Sanders Updated:
Eternals future MCU

Upon the completion of Marvel's Infinity Saga, it seemed that the Multiverse was the MCU's next big threat, affecting characters from Loki to Wanda Maximoff to Peter Parker and Doctor Strange. While that appears to be true, one of Marvel's latest Phase 4 films, Eternals, didn't seem to contribute to the greater MCU or the current phase's overarching story at all. However, according to Eternals' creators, it absolutely will. 

Now, Eternals was a unique and ambitious film from the start. In addition to introducing an ensemble cast of new characters, Eternals covered thousands of years of history and featured the enormous, cosmic Celestials. All of this came with no help from a Nick Fury or any prior MCU character cameos.  

While some appreciated its gorgeous visuals and themes of humanity and morality following its November 5, 2021 release, others felt it was too big of a swing and too separate from the MCU itself. Unfortunately, the Eternals left theaters with the second-worst domestic performance in MCU history

Still, Eternals is far from done in terms of the MCU. In addition to the buzz surrounding a sequel, the film's director, Chloe Zhao, has teased the film's "very big effect on the future of the MCU" more than once; and in Marvel Studios: Assembled's episode of "The Making of Eternals," she and others at Marvel Studios opened up about what fans can expect. 

Marvel Discusses Eternals' Future Impact on the MCU 

Eternals Avengers

In the latest installment of Marvel Studios: Assembled on Disney+, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, executive producer Nate Moore, and the film's director Chloe Zhao discussed how the future of the MCU will be impacted by this ambitious film. 

Early on in the documentary, Nate Moore claimed that "By the end of this film, how we look at the MCU and the Earth itself will change."

This is certainly true in terms of the audience since, up until Eternals, the oldest events in history involving the MCU occurred in Captain America: The First Avenger.

Now, Marvel fans know that other heroes were on Earth long before that and played a role in human history and society, leading to the events of the MCU which they also observed from a distance. Plus, there's a larger, cosmic plan at play that almost led to the end.

It also seems that people on Earth within the MCU, including the Marvel heroes, may now be aware of Arishem after he appeared in the atmosphere to whisk Sersi and the other Eternals on Earth away. Plus, Earth has a new landmark in the form of a marbleized Celestial Tiamut half emerging from the Indian Ocean. 

Clearly, this story - and how it will influence the MCU both on Earth and beyond - is far from over; and Kevin Feige said as much himself in stating:

"The impact the Eternals will have on the MCU will be nothing less than redefining the Cinematic Universe entirely."

Once again, Zhao also touched on the seemingly stand-alone film's influence on the franchise and alluded to its "big effect on the future of the MCU:"

“This film is going to have a big effect on the future of the MCU to a point where it makes me geek out so much as a fan, that I was able to make a film that could ripple through the MCU like this.”

In addition, Zhao also reflected on how Marvel Studios allowed her to "pay tribute and respect to the past of the MCU" with Eternals while also extending "the MCU into the future:"

“I feel like, for me, throughout the journey, Kevin, Nate, and the whole team, they catch me when I fall. When I’m spreading my wings and going crazy, they’re letting me loose. I learned so much from them. I’m just so grateful they gave me this opportunity to not only pay tribute and respect of the past of the MCU, but also extend the MCU into the future. And that, for me, is an honor.”

How Eternals is Already Connecting to the Greater MCU

These Marvel Studios comments about the film's "impact" and how it will change the audience's view and even "redefining the Cinematic Universe entirely" are huge; and again, while Marvel fans now have a sense of history they didn't have before, it certainly sounds like bigger things are in store involving Eternals and its cast. 

While much of the current fan focus is on the Multiverse due to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, what ends up happening to different universes and time itself would naturally involve the Eternals and Celestials down the line. 

Also, there's the issue with Thanos and the snap. 

While Smart Hulk's snap is what led to the "emergence" in Eternals, the same can be said for many of the other MCU stories audiences have received in Phase 4. In fact, it seems that the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame have been the catalyst for many of Marvel's Phase 4 stories. 

Since Eternals introduced Eros, the brother of Thanos, it looks like there's more to learn about the Mad Titan and other Eternals, as well as the threats that cosmic beings pose to Earth. 

Many fans have already theorized that Thanos' snap actually saved Earth from Tiamut's "emergence" until the Avengers reversed those events. Perhaps part of that "redefining the Cinematic Universe" will be a change in perspective? 

While only time will tell, it's possible that fans see more of the Eternals sooner rather than later. In addition to Sersi's Gemma Chan teasing her upcoming return to the MCU, a rumor claims that Gilgamesh's Don Lee is also scheduled to work on a new Marvel project, even though his character died in Eternals

Even though fans have more questions than answers about Chloe Zhao's Eternals right now, it certainly sounds like answers - and connections - are well on the way. 

Eternals and Marvel Studios: Assembled - "The Making of Eternals" are both available to stream on Disney+.

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.