Chloe Zhao’s upcoming Marvel Studios film Eternals is going to have to thread a difficult needle. It is an origin story, though one that seemingly is set thousands of years before the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever really gets underway. In the film’s first trailer, which just arrived (see below), we learn that the Eternals have been on our planet since the dawn of civilization, but have largely stayed on the sidelines, choosing not to get involved with our various conflicts. Or, as it is described to us in the Eternals trailer by Salma Hayek’s lead character, Ajax:
We have watched and guided. We have helped them progress. And seen them accomplish wonders. Throughout the years, we have never interfered… until now.
Which brings up one immediate and pretty significant question, “Wasn’t Thanos a large enough threat to humanity?” As you will recall, in the events of Avengers: Infinity War, the Mad Titan Thanos successfully assembled the Infinity Gauntlet and used it to remove half of the galaxy’s population. HALF. Believing the bulk of existence’s problems stem from the demands of overpopulation, Thanos (Josh Brolin) strove for balance, even if his solution was genocide.
The Eternals didn’t think that threat was worthy enough?
By the time that we reached Avengers: Endgame, and five years had passed on our planet with half of the world’s survivors struggling to find the right way forward, wouldn’t the presence of extraterrestrial beings with dope outfits like these have provided a burst of inspiration, and hope that higher powers were looking out for us? Basically, what I’m asking is, “Will Chloe Zhao’s Eternals include any explanation as to why these super-powered beings sat out The Infinity Saga?”
The answer to that question may lead to the revelation of the main threat in Chloe Zhao’s Eternals, which is not hinted at in this teaser trailer. The Eternals, in the Marvel Comics, routinely square off against an evil race of similarly immortal aliens known as The Deviants. But in the realm of the Eternals, there also are the looming threat of incredibly powerful beings known as Celestials, and it’s their arrival on Earth that I believe would force the Eternals to finally abandon their post as watch dogs, and dive into the fight.
Also, I believe there was concept art for Celestials making the rounds ahead of this movie’s release, so big bet on the Celestials being the threat that propels Eternals forward.
Still, a line of dialogue, or a conversation (preferred) needs to be included in Eternals that explains how and why this extremely powerful team didn’t see it fit to emerge when Thanos presented the danger that he did to our planet. We know, thanks to the trailer stinger, that the Eternals are aware of The Avengers, and they know that Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) are out of the mix. And yet, they remain passive observers. More than anything, I need to know why.
We might find out these answers when Eternals reaches theaters on November 5. While you wait, make sure you read over the Everything We Know So Far that we have written for Eternals, to get you up to speed.