The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is currently shrouded in mystery. Avengers: Infinity War has left us with a lot of questions as to how this year's Avengers: Endgame will play out, all the more so because the latter movie will kick off Phase Four of the MCU.
Nine movies are currently planned in Phase Four, to be released between 2019 and 2022, and it's been confirmed we won't get any concrete details until Spider-Man: Far From Home hits screens this July. However, the president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, also known as the architect of the MCU, has been chatting about a potential new franchise: Eternals. Here's everything we know so far.
Who are the Eternals?
If you thought Infinity War villain Thanos (Josh Brolin) was powerful, just wait until you see the Eternals. They were created by Jack Kirby (who also created Thanos), and are a group of genetically modified beings created millions of years ago, when the even-more-powerful Celestials experimented on humans. Originally intended as defenders of the Earth, they ultimately find themselves locked in a battle with the Deviants, their villainous counterparts.
The Eternals are super-powered (even more so than Thanos) and near-immortal. They count among their ranks Ikaris, fuelled by cosmic energy; Sersi, who relishes moving amongst humans; and Thena, often mistaken for the Greek goddess Athena. The Eternals first appeared in July 1976, although Kirby in fact sketched the idea when he left Marvel to work at DC in 1970. Upon returning to Marvel six years later, he translated his ideas into the eventual Eternals comics.
Initially planned as a standalone comic book series, the Eternals were eventually folded into the Marvel comics universe, with the revelation that Thanos' mother was herself an Eternal. They also teamed up with the Avengers multiple times, so can we expect to see this play out on the big screen?
What do we know about the Eternals movie?
Feige told The Wrap: "Eternals is one of many many many things that we are actively beginning to have creative discussions about to see if we believe in them enough to put them on a slate."
With the exception of Spider-Man: Far From Home, none of the rest of Marvel's Phase Four slate has been announced. As mentioned, at least nine movies are on the cards, although we can expect one of them to be the eagerly awaited Black Panther sequel. However, Feige has hinted the Eternals movie could slot into this most mysterious phase of the MCU's history.
"Those are the five things that are taking up 90 percent of our time," he tells The Wrap. "But there’s 10 percent we’re starting to go, ‘What’s going to be best?’ And some of that is you can take cues from everything we’ve done in the 22 movies before those — which is sequels to existing characters, new interpretation of existing characters and trying whole new swings with stuff that most people never heard of. So there are writers coming in on lots of different projects and lots of different ideas. And you’ll only start to hear more and more of it."
Who is writing the Eternals movie?
The Hollywood Reporter confirms the involvement of writers Matthew and Ryan Firpo, whose Black List script Ruin garnered them a lot of attention. (The Black List is defined as the list of Hollywood's best un-produced screenplays.)
Described as the story of "an ex-Nazi captain who, to atone for his crimes, hunts down and kills the members of his former SS squad", Ruin attracted the attention of Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot. She entered negotiations to star last October, although official confirmation and start of production is yet to materialise.
Nevertheless, if one script can attract a star of Gadot's calibre, this surely bodes well for the Eternals movie. Given the cosmic powers of the team, there is surely enough visual and dramatic potential to carry the MCU into increasingly wondrous environments.
The movie will be directed by Chloe Zhao who last year delivered the beautiful indie drama The Rider. This is very different from anything she's helmed previously, and we can't wait to see the results.
When is the Eternals movie set?
Kevin Feige has been dropping some recent hints about the movie's setting and storyline. He tells Collider: "Eternals are one group, but we like the idea of introducing an ensemble, doing an ensemble movie from the start, as opposed to building up as we did with the first Avengers. More like Guardians, not tonally, but in terms of introducing a new group of people. You were asking about ’60s, and ’70s before. Jack Kirby did an immense, amazing epic with Eternals that spans tens of thousands of years, and that’s also something we haven’t really done, which is why that among many other things post-Endgame, we find appealing."
When is the Eternals movie released?
No release date has been set for the Eternals movie, but if this has got all you Marvel fans fired up, click here to book your tickets for Captain Marvel. The movie is released on 8th March, followed by Avengers: Endgame on 25th April and Spider-Man: Far From Home on 3rd July.