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How Eternals Connects To Avengers: Endgame And Other MCU Phase 4 Projects

The Eternals
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Any time that a new Marvel Studios movie opens in theaters, fans who’ve remained amazed by the studio’s ability to tell an intersected story wonder if and how the next picture fits into the grand scheme of the MCU. Black Widow, for example, was a prequel that arrived after Captain America: Civil War, so Natasha was on the run, having helped Steve (Chris Evans) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) escape Germany. 

But where does Eternals fit on the MCU timeline? And why didn’t the Eternals, who have been on our planet for 7,000 years, interfere? The most recent Eternals trailer explained that the heroes were told to only intervene with threats if they are created by the Deviants. And during CinemaBlend’s trip to the set of Chloe Zhao’s Eternals, producer Nate Moore elaborated:

Yeah, they don't directly affect it. Although the Eternals are quite aware of what happened in Endgame, and what happened with Thanos. And you get to hear their opinion about what happened, and why maybe they didn't get involved. So it is both in a post-Endgame world, but isn't a direct line, as far as storytelling.

When asked if Eternals will include the requisite number of MCU Easter Eggs that fans have come to expect, Moore dialed back expectations a tad, comparing this new film to fellow Phase Four movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which worked best as a standalone tale in an unexplored corner of the Marvel Universe. Moore said:

I think this is somewhat like -- to some degree, Doctor Strange or Black Panther, where we felt like there was enough story that it could be a contained universe, at first. We definitely have ideas of how things can crossover later. But this movie, again, with 10 characters and Dane Whitman, and the Celestials, and the Deviants, there was enough for us to play with.

More than anything, Moore says that Eternals will continue the MCU push in Phase Four to experiment in genres that they haven’t dabbled in yet. Said Moore: 

(We get) to deal with immortality which, I think, is sort of a fun topic to deal with, but also doing a more hard sci-fi movie, frankly, was something we really hadn't tackled. (We wanted) to do something that didn't feel necessarily like a superhero movie. It's definitely a comic book movie. It's an action movie. But it didn't feel like a superhero movie. It seemed to us like a good palate cleanser and a good restart as we looked at what was post-Avengers.

The theme of Phase Four, in this infancy, is that the movies will not connect into a tapestry the way that the MCU did in the first three phases. Black Widow was a standalone. Shang-Chi largely was a standalone. This may all change when Spider-Man: No Way Home leads into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but until then, Eternals will continue the streak of disconnected (for the most part) MCU stories as Phase Four rolls along. 

Look for more stories from our Eternals set visit this week. And look for Eternals in theaters on November 5.

Sean O'Connell

Movie junkie. Infatuated with comic-book films. ReelBlend cohost. Resident dad. Extroverted introvert. Wants to see the Snyder Cut. Managing Director at CinemaBlend.