SPOILERS are ahead for Eternals, now playing in theaters.
It’s more than safe to say that Eternals is not your typical Marvel entry. More of us than usual had not heard of the group of Marvel characters prior to seeing the movie, and Chloé Zhao’s approach to the film itself feels new to the MCU. That being said, we’ve been trained over the years to look for the connections between each movie Marvel Studios releases, and it’s time to speculate what could be coming next for this unlikely team of powerful beings.
As we dive into this article, I will front it with one key note: Eternals is one of the few Marvel movies I’ve seen where this question is more difficult to answer than ever. It does feel possible that this movie could remain in its own pocket of the MCU as other aspects of the franchise’s future plays out, such as through the upcoming multiverse storyline or other large-scale hero stories told across the universe, such as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or The Marvels. Eternals ventures into some new territory for Marvel, but let’s get into the upcoming Marvel movies that could be especially great opportunities to include Eternals.
Thor: Love And Thunder
The first upcoming Marvel movie that came to mind when I look at the universe’s future is Thor: Love And Thunder, set to hit theaters next summer. Why? Well, because of how they both seem to be deeply tied to mythology. As we learn in Eternals, many of the heroes we met in the film have been alive for centuries and are even the real heroes behind legends throughout history – such as Angelina Jolie’s Thena previously being Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom and War, of Greek mythology. The Thor films have been a loose depiction of Norse mythology, but in Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, we’ve learned that Greek mythology will be explored, especially with Russell Crowe playing Zeus in the film.
Also, in the upcoming Thor movie, Christian Bale will play a villain called Gorr the God Butcher, who decides to make it his mission to kill all the gods. Thor will clearly be the main target here, but considering some of the Eternals have been classified as gods throughout history, we could see them being part of the plot line or at least being referenced and cameoed. Oh, and Kingo already referenced knowing Thor in Eternals – maybe that's a hint.
The next MCU movie coming up that could tie into the Eternals and make sense is The Marvels, set to hit theaters in early 2023. The movie will be sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel and feature Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers reuniting with Monica Rambeau (now an adult, played by Teyonah Parris, as introduced in Wandavision) and meeting Iman Vellani's Ms. Marvel, who will debut in her own Disney+ series.
We don’t know a ton about the plot of The Marvels, but given Captain Marvel is one of the few Avengers who deals with matters of places beyond Earth in the far reaches of the galaxy, she’d be a great contact between some of the Eternals members, and I think she’d really mesh well with the heroes we met in Eternals. As Eternals ended, Thena, Druig and Makkari were headed (perhaps over to Carol’s turf) into the cosmos to find more like them, and Arishem had retrieved Sersi, Kingo and Phastos for judgement. Having one of the most powerful Avengers with them on the case could prove to be a good partnership.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Kicking off the summer season in 2023 will be Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which just began production this week after a ton of delays. The movie will round out James Gunn’s Marvel trilogy following the events of Avengers: Endgame. This movie perhaps has the deepest connections with Eternals, because we first heard of the Celestials in the second film through Peter Quill’s dad, Ego. There’s a personal element to the Eternals lore that could play a part in Guardians 3 should it have room to.
I’m conflicted about this one because James Gunn wrote the script for the movie years ago, perhaps back before Eternals was written. The threequel will also reportedly be the end for this ragtag group of characters we’ve come to love. Even so, there’s an ample amount of shared DNA between Eternals and Guardians of the Galaxy for the series to collide, and Vol. 3 would be a great place to do so.
Yes, Blade is still coming with Mahershala Ali starring as the vampire hunter, and it’s a little known fact that the actor’s first bit in the MCU did appear in Eternals. In one of the end credit scenes, when Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman finds the Ebony Blade, the voice heard in the background is none other than Ali's Blade. With that detail in mind, it’s possible that Dane Whitman, who is set to become the Black Knight, could come to cross paths with Blade in the future.
Perhaps Harington will take part in some vampire-slaying alongside a quest to save his girlfriend Sersi (along with Phastos and Kingo) from Arishem. A massive ball was dropped on us at the end of Eternals, and Kit Harington becoming a hero in the midst of this definitely seems like a wink to his future. We don’t know when and how his character will become the Black Knight, but Mahershala Ali’s cameo could point to Blade!
Another upcoming Marvel project that has been announced, but yet to be developed in the MCU is the return of the X-Men through a complete reintroduction. Marvel boss Kevin Feige announced that the mutants would enter the MCU when the Phase Four lineup was introduced at 2019’s San Diego Comic-Con, but we’ve been curious for some time how they will make their way into the universe. One popular theory is that the key will be the Eternals.
In the comics, the X-Gene was introduced into proto-humanity during The Celestials’ experiments, giving the X-Men some roots in some of the lore introduced in Eternals. Since we’ve been given no indication about the direction of the X-Men in the MCU, there’s not a ton to go on for the time being, but this connection could plant a seed that fans are already speculating.
Of course the best place for the return of the Eternals could be a sequel, but knowing Marvel, we’ expect to see some of these characters somewhere and somehow before then.
YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.
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