Kevin Feige says the Eternals movie could span back tens of thousands of years


Marvel has free range over what years it can set its next slate of movies in. And if you’re thinking the 20th century is a great place to start, you’re not thinking far back enough.

Marvel movies have typically all taken place in the present day, starting with Iron Man, up to its latest movies like Avengers: Infinity War. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t seen what the Marvel world was like in the past.

Early on, we saw the MCU’s version of World War II with Captain America. And soon, we’ll see what the totally awesome ’90s were like in Captain Marvel.

However, Marvel lore spans further back than the decades of the 20th century. And now that Marvel Studios is moving on to other heroic stories after Avengers: Endgame, they’ve got a world of history to cover — especially when it comes to the Eternals.

In an interview with Collider, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige hinted at what’s to come in the planned Eternals movie. According to him, we just may see the comic book heroes fight battles long before Hank Pym became Ant-Man or Steve Rogers became Captain America. Speaking to the interviewer, Feige said:

"You were asking about ’60s and ’70s before. Jack Kirby did an immense, amazing epic with Eternals that spans tens of thousands of years, and that’s also something we haven’t really done, which is why that among many other things post-Endgame, we find appealing."

When it comes to the Eternals and their long existence, you can imagine they have many stories to tell in their comic book history, from their Celestial-created inception to encounters with the Kree and Skrulls. But the latter may be something to anchor the first movie’s plot on, so viewers aren’t completely lost when they watch the movie.

This year’s Captain Marvel is all about introducing the Skrulls and the Kree, who not only have a long history of war with one another, but also share an Eternals connection. At some point in their history, the Kree and Skrulls were experimented on by the Celestials as well, creating their own species of Eternals (and Deviants). Most Skrulls ended up becoming Deviants, which are the types of Skrulls we’ll see in Captain Marvel.

With the help of the Eternals movie, they may even build towards seeing more Inhumans (Kree-experimented humans) like Miss Marvel in the MCU. But that’s thinking much more in the future than when the Eternals movie will likely take place.

Depending on the direction the movie goes, we’ll likely have to see somewhat of an origin story for the beings. The whole movie doesn’t have to be that way, of course. Captain America: Civil War was able to properly introduce Spider-Man and Black Panther into the MCU without having an actual origins story, for example. So it can be done. And we may actually be skipping the origin story narrative based on another hint Kevin Feige revealed in the interview:

"Seeing returning characters is certainly something we’re gonna do and want to do. But also introducing characters that the majority of the world has never heard of, much like Guardians, much like Avengers before we made Avengers. And there are lots of them. Eternals are one group, but we like the idea of introducing an ensemble, doing an ensemble movie from the start, as opposed to building up as we did with the first Avengers. More like Guardians, not tonally, but in terms of introducing a new group of people."

From what Kevin Feige is saying, it looks like there won’t be a whole lot of room to get into a long, drawn-out origin story, because he’d like for the Eternals to be a team right out the gate. This approach makes sense, seeing as Marvel Studios has so many movies to create, but so little time. It’d be easier (and probably more interesting) to just jump into the interesting stories, rather than sit through yet another explainer, origins-type movie.

Unless the backstory is just so compelling that it has to have its own dedicated film, audiences now are much more ready to just jump into the action — so let’s see that in the Eternals movie.

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Rumors say the Eternals movie will be out next year, possibly aiming for November 2020 release.