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Next year, the cosmic corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are expanding with The Eternals, which will follow the same-named race of long-lived aliens who have been part of Marvel Comics mythology since Jack Kirby created them in 1976. Although we’ve known The Eternals has been coming since April 2018, this past weekend finally brought confirmation that the Eternals’ arch-nemeses, the Deviants, will appear in the movie.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed as much during CCPX this past weekend, thus inserting another piece into the jigsaw puzzle that it The Eternals. But before delving into the tidbit of information that he provided about the cinematic version of these creatures, let’s go over what you need to know about them from the original source material first.
The Deviants Came From The Same Evolutionary Process As The Eternals
Millions of years ago in the Marvel Comics universe, the gigantic and godlike Celestials traveled to Earth and performed genetic experiments on The Wanderers, a version of proto-humanity. This resulted in the creation of two divergent races: the Eternals and the Deviants. While the Eternals look nearly identical to what would become humanity and are gifted with incredible powers, the Deviants are hideous by our standards due to random physical mutations, hence why they’re also known as “mutates” and are the basis for various monsters in human mythology.
Unfortunately for the Deviants, not all of them are gifted with special abilities, and even the few that are empowered aren’t at the same level as the Eternals. Conversely, while the Eternals’ low birth rate means their population remains small, the Deviants are far more numerous, and when those numbers are combined with the advanced technology they’ve developed, that makes them a grave threat both to the Eternals and (obviously) humanity in general.
The Deviants Worship The Dreaming Celestial
Although the Deviants initially worshipped all of the Celestials, that changed when the Second Host of these deities arrived on Earth in 16,000 BCE, a time when the Deviants had conquered nearly all of Earth. These Celestials bombed the Atlantean capital of Lemuria, which the Deviants were trying to invade and where they launched an attack on the Celestial ship. That bomb blast destroyed nearly all of the Deviants, and from then on the survivors started worshipping only the Dreaming Celestial.
In the Deviants’ eyes, the Dreaming Celestial, a.k.a Tiamut the Communicator, is responsible for their creation and their subsequent dominos of Earth, for which he was punished by the other Celestials. This worship has continued to the present day, and they have at least one religious text they consult, which is called the Book of Krask.
The Skrulls Are Offshoots Of The Deviants
Porto-humanity wasn’t the only species that the Celestials experimented on. They also carried out work on the reptilian ancestors of the Skrulls. From the Celestials’ experiments on this species emerged three branches of Skrulls: the Prime, the Deviants and the Eternals. Because the Deviant Skrulls were able to shapeshift, they emerged victorious in the conflict with the other two races, leaving only an Eternal Skrull and a Prime Skrull alive when all was said and done. The Deviant Skrulls would then split into two groups: the modern Skrulls and the Dire Wraiths. Captain Marvel introduced Skrulls to the MCU (and Talos and his wife Soren cameoed in Spider-Man: Far From Home), but there’s no indication yet that these versions of the shapeshifting aliens will have any ties to the Deviants.
What We Can Expect From The Deviants In The Eternals Movie
While it was generally expected that the Deviants would somehow be involved in The Eternals, it was nice of Kevin Feige to confirm as much at CCPX. As for how they’ll be used, here’s what Feige told told Omelete:
Deviants are in the film. The Deviants in the comic book mythology were extremely important plans of the Celestials, and we will see Deviants that will look unlike anything we’ve seen in the comics. This is a new form of Deviants that we’re revealing in the movie.
So if you’re going into The Eternals expecting the traditional Deviant looks, adjust your expectations accordingly. Given that Feige also mentioned that the Celestials are “a big part” of The Eternals and that we’ll see their “full, true, enormous power,” one could also logically assume that like in the comics, both the Eternals and the Deviants are products of The Celestials’ experimentation.
Beyond that, details about the Deviants are being kept under wraps, although given their relationship with the Eternals in the comics, it’s a good bet they will serve as the main antagonists. However, I’m curious if The Eternals will end up delivering a Captain Marvel-type twist with who the real heroes and villains are.
As you’ll recall, in Captain Marvel, the Skrulls were initially presented as the villains, and that made sense given their history in the comics. However, it was later revealed that the Skrulls Carol Danvers faced off against were just refugees looking for their families and searching for a new home, and that Yon-Rogg, Starforce and the Kree military were the real bad guys. Maybe The Eternals will do something similar and show that the Eternals/Deviants conflict isn’t as cut and dry as it usually is in the comics.
With The Eternals taking place across 7,000 years, there’s definitely room to explore an evolution between the viewpoints of both sides. At the very least, since there are numerous established Deviant characters in the comics, presumably one or a few of them are being adapted for The Eternals to be the main representatives of this species, as opposed to the Eternals fighting through generic hordes of nameless Deviants.
You can be sure that if any major Deviant characters are cast for The Eternals, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know about it. So far, the movie’s primary lineup of characters includes Angelina Jolie’s Thena, Richard Madden’s Ikaris, Kumai Nanjiani Kingo, Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos, Salma Hayek’s Ajak, Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari, Lia McHugh’s Sprite, Don Lee’s Gilgamesh, Barry Keoghan’s Druig, Gemma Chan’s Sersi and Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman.
The Eternals hits theaters on November 6, 2020, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates, including when the first trailer drops. Don’t forget to look through our Marvel movies guide to learn what else is being released during Phase 4 and beyond.