Exclusive: Marvel’s New ‘Phase 4’ MCU Franchise – The Eternals!
This is the news you’ve been waiting for, and I couldn’t put it out there until now.
It sounds like Marvel is starting to solidify their plans post-Avengers 4, and one of the new franchises they look to launch is very cosmic. Thanos and his “children” are just one part of a much larger Marvel family tree; one that has some actual heroes (and even one-time Avengers) as part of it.
Through confirmation from multiple sources, Marvel is looking to launch The Eternals as a new franchise post-Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and the wheels are already in motion to find Marvel’s new team of heroes. The decision to do them came after the success of the very Kirby-esque Thor: Ragnarok and DC developing their New Gods movie, but they’ve been preparing for them for a while and we’ll see a moon-sized hint at them in Avengers: Infinity War this month. The rumor says the movie is currently on the Phase 4 schedule for 2021 or 2022, and there’s a possibility some of the Eternals could pop up in Guardians of the Galaxy 3 before being spun off into their own franchise. As Guardians 3 is the final outing for this team, introducing new cosmic characters prior spinning them off into their own movie would make a lot of sense.
“But The Eternals? No one knows who they are! This will be Marvel’s first bomb!” Swap “The Eternals” in that sentence with “Guardians of the Galaxy” and you’ll see something people were saying back in 2014 when Marvel decided to bring a different cosmic team to the big screen. The movie went on to be the third highest grossing film of 2014 and established Guardians of the Galaxy as one of Marvel’s top brands next to Avengers. They hope the same thing will happen with another little-known team of cosmic super heroes, and with Marvel Studios’ big screen track record it’d be foolish to doubt what they may be planning.
With Marvel TV kind of running The Inhumans into the ground, and with the big screen version of those characters not happening, The Eternals could be the cosmic replacement for them. They already tie in with the existing MCU lore concerning Celestials, so this is the natural progression for Marvel Cosmic before they gain access to the Fox characters such as Silver Surfer and Galactus. They’re also “cosmic” enough that Fox characters like Silver Surfer, Galactus, and Annihilus can slot right into an Eternals movie once Marvel has them back. This would give Marvel a space-based superhero team, but without the stink of the TV Inhumans attached to them.
Marvel is already building towards this. Aside from comments about how Phase 4 would be more “cosmic” there have also been those reports about how James Gunn is helping Marvel Studios decide what directions to take their cosmic properties. And it sounds as if the groundwork for The Eternals is being put down right now.
Infinity War releases this month and Thanos’ home of Titan appears in the movie, but that’s not even the biggest part of it. In the comics, Thanos was in love with the physical manifestation of death and wanted to balance the universe for her. That’s changed in the MCU where his motivation comes from the decline of the civilization on Titan. When you realize Marvel is planning to introduce The Eternals (some of which are from Titan), the changing of Thanos’ motivation from the comics takes on an even bigger meaning as it gives a big part of Phase 4 a backstory and setup.
After ten years and $14 billion at the box office, nothing Marvel Studios does is by accident now. They have a plan and they lay the foundations for what they’re planning very far out. The Avengers introduced Thanos, Thor: The Dark World first named the Infinity Stones, Captain America: The Winter Soldier gave us Stephen Strange’s name, and Avengers: Age of Ultron introduced Wakanda. Infinity War‘s focus on Titan, with it being a bit set piece in the film and the backstory for Thanos, also isn’t by accident. We’re experiencing the wrath of Thanos right now, and in Phase 4 they’ll pull back to introduce us to some of his family, The Eternals.