Top 10 Ways Eternals Will Reshape the MCU



Top 10 Ways Eternals Will Reshape the MCU

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
Prepare for a major Marvel shakeup! For this list, we'll be looking at potential characters, directions, and innovations that could come from “Eternals,” setting a tone for the MCU's fourth phase. Our countdown includes The Deviants, The X-Men, The Multiverse, and more!

Top 10 Way Eternals Will Reshape the MCU

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Ways Eternals Will Reshape the MCU.

For this list, we’ll be looking at potential characters, directions, and innovations that could come from “Eternals,” setting a tone for the MCU’s fourth phase.

Are you looking forward to “Eternals?” Let us know in the comments.

#10: Pushing Marvel In a More Experimental Direction

With each phase, the MCU has only gotten more ambitious, taking on different genres, turning lesser-known heroes into household names, and embracing fresh creative talent. With Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao in the director’s chair, “Eternals” could be Marvel’s most experimental film yet. Based on the footage revealed so far, the movie seems to strike a balance between Zhao’s laidback, personal filmmaking style and the epic tone we associate with this franchise. “Eternals” will be one of Marvel’s most diverse films to date and given Zhao’s track record, it might pick up where “Black Panther” left off at the Academy Awards. If the film succeeds, it may influence Marvel to take even more risks, giving more power to the auteur.

#9: Connections to Other Characters

On the printed page, the Eternals were created by the Celestials, a group of aliens that’s already been established in the MCU. This alien race was most prominently alluded to in the first two “Guardians of the Galaxy” films. The collector sets up his museum on Knowhere (xref), a deceased Celestial avatar’s head that functions as a world of its own. Peter Quill’s father, Ego the Living Planet, was also a Celestial (xref). “Eternals” may provide more insight into the Celestials and how they used the Infinity Stones. In addition to the Guardians, the Eternals could have some ties to Asgard (xref). Since the Eternals have been around for thousands of years, it wouldn’t be surprising if they knew Odin before Thor or Loki were around.

#8: Thousands of Years to Cover

Although the Eternals are new to the MCU, they’ve been hiding out on Earth for more than 7,000 years. While they’ve never directly interfered with humanity during this time, the Eternals have guided people in certain directions and gifted them the tools to evolve. For all we know, the Eternals could’ve been connected to major MCU events, much like how the Ancient One helped out from the sidelines during the Battle of New York. The film can also present real-world historical events from their perspectives. The story spans centuries, but 7,000 years is a lot of ground to cover in one feature. Thus, “Eternals” may lead to sequels, prequels, and spinoffs exploring different periods and how these characters played a role.

#7: The Snap Aftermath

In the comics, Thanos has not only been portrayed as an Eternal, but his father Mentor ruled over the Eternal inhabitants of Titan (xref). It remains to be seen if the MCU will follow this blueprint for Thanos. In any case, Thanos’ actions in “Infinity War” will likely factor into this film. Thanos wiped out half of all life in the universe with a single snap. It’s unclear how this impacted the core characters we’ll meet in “Eternals.” Maybe none of them perished in the snap or maybe all of them were turned to dust. Either way, the snap and its reversal could encourage the Eternals to finally step out of the shadows and take a more direct approach in defending Earth.

#6: The MCU Goes Cosmic

Although it helped popularize the term “cinematic universe,” the MCU has been mostly restricted to Earth thus far. “Captain Marvel,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” and the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies have touched upon the larger universe, but “Eternals” may venture to even greater depths. Originally, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” was supposed to kick off Phase 4 and expand upon the cosmic MCU for future movies. Since that film got delayed due to James Gunn’s temporary termination, “Eternals” seems poised to fill this role. While much of the film is inclined to take place on Earth, the characters, their origins, and their abilities will likely open the gateway for new ideas and worlds to explore. Just when you thought this universe couldn’t get any bigger.

#5: The Deviants

The Deviants were also genetically created by the Celestials, although the results were far more grotesque and catastrophic. Emerging as the Eternals’ archenemies, the Deviants could shake up the MCU for years to come. Based on everything we know so far, the Deviants are set to be the film’s antagonists. Since Marvel has a reputation for surprise villains, though, they may not be the movie’s big bad. We’re keeping an eye on Barry Keoghan’s Druig, who doesn’t share the same worldview as his fellow Eternals. Regardless, the Deviants will surely be among the main reasons why the Eternals band back together and come out of hiding to protect Earth from a threat that not even the Avengers can handle alone.

#4: Fantastic Four & Galactus

With “Eternals” being such an integral part of the MCU’s cosmic side, it may pave the way for out-of-this-world characters like the Silver Surfer. The Eternals could also be the key to introducing the Fantastic Four. Several characters in the film possess “cosmic energy,” according to early descriptions. In the comics, the Fantastic Four get their powers from cosmic rays on a space mission. Perhaps even more significant, the villainous Galactus is a cosmic entity. The Eternals didn’t make their presence known when Thanos showed up, but they may be more hands-on if the Devourer of Worlds is headed towards Earth. We’re not expecting to see these characters in “Eternals” per se, but their cosmic powers seem to be planting the seeds for future appearances.

#3: The X-Men

Like the Fantastic Four, we’ve been anticipating the X-Men’s MCU debut ever since Disney officially acquired 21st Century Fox. We thought “WandaVision” might introduce mutants in a big way. That didn’t go exactly as expected, but the retcons made to Scarlet Witch’s origins may be hinting at a mutant gene. Like the Eternals, it’s possible that mutants have been living in secrecy for generations. Some people may carry the mutant gene, but their powers just haven’t surfaced yet. In the comics, when the Celestials first visited Earth millions of years back, their experiments led to the creation of the mutant gene. “Eternals” could set up this backstory for mutants in the MCU, making way for Wolverine, Magneto, and others.

#2: The Black Knight

Of all the characters set to appear in “Eternals,” Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman may play the most significant role in the years to come. Also known as Black Knight, this human warrior is known for wielding a magical sword called the Ebony Blade, which spans multiple generations. Whitman has also fought with the neural sword and even Excalibur. Although Whitman will make his MCU debut in “Eternals,” he’s better known for his affiliation with the Avengers in the comics. The “Eternals” trailer sees Lia McHugh’s Sprite ask who should lead the Avengers now that Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are gone. Richard Madden’s Ikaris jokingly suggests himself, but maybe another “Game of Thrones” actor would be up to the task.

#1: The Multiverse

Between “Loki,” “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” the MCU seems to be heading into uncharted territory. “Eternals” might be another piece in the puzzle that is the Marvel multiverse. Given their vast knowledge of the cosmos, it’d make sense if the Eternals were well aware that this reality is just one of many. It’s also been theorized that this incarnation of the Eternals may be from a parallel universe. Even if that’s not the case, interdimensional travel could be among their cosmic powers or maybe they’ll harness the technology to hop between dimensions. Whatever awaits, there’s a lot more to see, and “Eternals” is sure to be an eye-opening experience.