Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now in full swing courtesy of the highly-talked-about debut of WandaVision on Disney+. The inaugural MCU offering will lay the groundwork for several multiverse-heavy storylines, and it is expected that it will change the franchise in surprising ways.
On the flip side, other projects will focus on introducing new heroes into the mix, and one of those is Eternals. Directed by Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), the film will mark the debut of a unique group of heroes from the pages of Marvel Comics, and they will be bannered by an all-star cast that includes the likes of Angelina Jolie, Kit Harrington, and Richard Madden.
So far, details about Eternals are still being kept under wraps, and the only source of information that fans have access to are merchandise leaks and set photos. Given that, this makes it harder for everyone to speculate how Eternals will be adapted into the MCU, but a new interview may shed some light on a major addition that could shake the film to its core.
In the latest episode of the Phase Zero podcast, Thanos creator Jim Starlin claimed that he “confirmed” from Marvel Studios that the Mad Titan will have a “guest appearance” in Eternals, but he suddenly backtracked his comment by saying that he just “read it somewhere.”
“I believe I heard some rumors that he's [Thanos] coming back in different things. I think I've heard...confirmed from Marvel Studios is that he's going to be...at least a guest appearance inside the Eternals, so he's gonna be around. This is not anything I'm making up. This is something I've read somewhere.”
WHAT THIS MEANS
Based on Starlin's remarks, it looks like he is simply trying to avoid the Marvel snipers, considering that Thanos' involvement in Eternals could be a major spoiler for fans. Interestingly, the comic-book legend's statement appears to align with his previous comment regarding the villain's potential appearance in the film, with him sharing that he also “read it somewhere” before.
Whether Starlin's claim is true or not, it still makes narrative sense for Thanos to appear in Eternals given the strong connections of the villain to the ancient race. In the comics, the Mad Titan is a member of the Deviants, which is one-half of the by-product of the Celestials' experiments on Earth. While the Eternals resemble humans that have a wide array of superpowers, the Deviants are the exact opposite, with them having unstable DNA and monster-like forms.
In MCU canon, Thanos' connection to Eternals was already referenced during Avengers: Infinity War when Red Skull mentioned that the villain is the “son of A'lars.” For those unaware, A'lars is one of the early members of the Eternals, and him being the father of the Mad Titan could potentially hint at big things to come for the Chloe Zhao-directed film.
By featuring Thanos in a cameo in Eternals, it could help explain how the villain can hold his own against MCU heroes like Thor and Hulk, and it could also provide relevant information about the long lifespan of the character. This doesn't mean that Thanos will return in the post-Endgame timeline, but his appearance could act as a closure for the character.
After all, his presence was significant in the Infinity Saga, and it's a good thing that more details about his past will be pushed to the forefront, giving viewers one last glimpse of his impressive yet tragic backstory.