SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains some major spoilers for Eternals. If you have not yet seen the film, proceed at your own risk!
In the wake of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the question of what could be called “snap status” has been repeatedly asked of various Marvel Cinematic Universe actors and filmmakers. While the two-part crossover blockbuster features a spectacular number of characters from the franchise, the epic story doesn’t feature absolutely everybody, and inquiring minds want to know whether or not certain absent players were snapped to dust by Thanos or continued to exist.
The case of the Eternals is a bit special, however. While it is the case that the ensemble of characters featured in director Chloé Zhao’s new blockbuster existed when the Mad Titan activated his completed Infinity Gauntlet, it turns out that they were totally unaffected by it due to their special nature. Because they are artificial and not biological, they don’t qualify as part of “life in existence,” which is technically what Thanos halved.
I got confirmation of this special fact late last month when I interviewed Chloé Zhao during the virtual press day for Eternals. I asked the filmmaker if any of the members of the titular group in the movie were snapped away by Thanos, admittedly expecting some kind of creative answer, and she explained (while wary of spoilers) that the heroes were, in a word, exempt. Said Zhao,
At the start of the movie, the audience and the Eternals alike are under the impression that they are beings from a planet called Olympia who are brought to Earth by the Celestial Arishem to eliminate the scourge of monstrous Deviants and help human life prosper and grow. But as the heroes discover over the course of the film, that’s not actually the truth. Instead, they are essentially androids that are specifically designed not to evolve, and their existence on Earth is solely for the purpose of increasing population numbers and generating enough energy that a new Celestial can be born out of the planet’s core. That’s a pretty mind-blowing revelation for the characters, but not being eligible for The Blip can certainly be seen as a silver lining of sorts.
Of course, keeping this in mind when thinking about the Eternals mid-credits scene opens up even bigger thoughts about the implications of the film’s major reveal. In said scene, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Eros is introduced, played by Harry Styles, and it’s specifically mentioned that he is an Eternal and that he is the brother of Thanos. This strongly implies that the live-action canon will be mirroring the comics where Thanos has both Eternal and Deviant DNA – and if that’s the case the future of the MCU could add whole new layers in retrospect to the way things played out in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
We don’t precisely know right now what the future will hold for the Eternals right now, as a sequel has not yet been announced, but for now you can see Chloé Zhao’s film in theaters around the world, and you can check out everything that is coming from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the next few years in our Upcoming Marvel Movies and Upcoming Marvel TV guides.
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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