Marvel’s Eternals is introducing a legion of powerful superbeings who have hidden in the shadows of the world for thousands of years, supposed guardians of humanity from afar. Which, naturally, has fans wondering how awkward it was that these guardians decided to do nothing when Thanos came and snapped away half the world—but Eternals wants to give an answer to that question, simple as it may be.
Commented on as an aside deep in Entertainment Weekly’s latest cover feature on Chloe Zhao’s upcoming Marvel epic is an acknowledgement that, for a movie about the Eternals and their long history with the Earth, it’d be weird not to note their specific inactions in the recent Marvel timeline where all these superbeings have been showing up around the world, with bigger and bigger existential threats to match. We know the answer already, of course—Marvel is making an Eternals movie in 2021, and for all their grip on the box office for the last decade, not even Kevin Feige has developed access to time travel to make a bunch of actors and a director Marvel Studios had not yet hired go back and show up in the first decade of the company’s moviemaking. But the movie will offer a retroactive explanation: simply put, the Eternals are dedicated to their sole mission given by the Celestials, which is to hunt down the deviants, while never interfering with human affairs.
No doubt we’ll get a complicated version of that request in the film itself. After all, in the comics Thanos was a Titan with the deviant syndrome, a genetic offshoot of the Eternals as a race—a facet we didn’t see explored in the backstory we were given in Infinity War and Endgame, which could come into play now we’re directly dealing with the Eternals and Deviants here. Plus, as Gemma Chan (who plays Sersi in the movie) told EW, not all the Eternals are satisfied with non-intervention. “She’s interesting because she is this immortal being, but she’s very grounded as well,” Chan told EW. “She’s a little bit of a free spirit and just loves being amongst humans.” When we meet Sersi in Eternals, she’s actually living among contemporary human society in London, working as a museum curator and even finding herself romantically involved with a human in Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman. So at least some among their kind will have grown lax on the whole “we don’t get involved” thing, just... a little too late to deal with the planet getting half its population snapped back in and out of existence.
We’ll get to know the whole deal when Eternals hits theaters on its currently projected release date of November 5.
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