With Avengers: Endgame looming on the horizon to put an epic end to Marvel’s 22-movie Infinity Stones storyline, it’s hard to comprehend the fact that the MCU will, in fact, continue right along once the dust has settled into a Phase 4. One of the more low-key (not Loki) exciting projects being discussed is Eternals, a big-screen adaptation of the Jack Kirby-created celestial beings that count Thanos the Mad Titan as one of their own.
Not much has been said since the studio set screenwriting duo Matthew and Ryan Firpo on the case last May and The Rider helmer Chloe Zhao to direct last September, but our own Steve Weintraub managed to get a bit of an update from Marvel president Kevin Feige during an interview at the press day for Captain Marvel. According to Feige, the plan is not only to introduce the Eternals as a full ensemble Guardians of the Galaxy-style, but to also lean into what made Kirby’s run in the 1970s so complex.
“Everything after Endgame, and after Spider-Man: Far From Home, will be different and be unique, as we try to make every film. But seeing returning characters is certainly something we’re gonna do and want to do. But also introducing characters that the majority of the world has never heard of, much like Guardians, much like Avengers before we made Avengers. And there are lots of them. 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.”
The important thing to hone in on between the Marvel-speak is that the studio is exploring and interested in things they “haven’t really done.” I know that sounds extremely obvious, but it wasn’t really until 2014’s Guardians—an origin story of a little-known team of outer-space oddballs with mostly-comedian Chris Pratt in the lead—that the MCU showed hints of getting truly weird with the Marvel formula. Since then, Doctor Strange played around with reality, Black Panther gave a filmmaker with a singular vision and something to say free reign to make comic book movie history, and, right, Avengers: Infinity War killed a majority of its main characters. Even Thor: Ragnarok borrowed handily from that unmistakable Jack Kirby art style. But for an MCU movie to really do Kirby, king of interplanetary gods and weirdos? Maybe a post-Endgame world really will look completely different, after all.
Be on the lookout for the rest of Steve’s interview with Kevin Feige on Collider soon, covering Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, and a lot more.