Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige compares The Eternals to Guardians of the Galaxy in terms of having very little fanfare prior to their big screen debut. With the franchise's 22-film arc nearing its culmination in next year's Avengers 4, there have been more and more conversations about what lies ahead in the famed cinematic universe. Not much is known regarding Phase 4 at this point, but based on recent reports, it won't be long before a brand new superhero team is introduced in the ever-expanding MCU with the planned The Eternals movie.
Based on the characters created by Jack Kirby in 1976, the forthcoming project will be directed by The Rider's Chloe Zhao with a script written Matthew and Ryan Firpo. Plot details are being tightly kept under wraps, but a rumored plot synopsis reveals that the story will be told in several decades with the main focus supposedly on Ikaris and Sersi's romance. Production is tipped to begin as early as September of next year with a target release date of November 2020.
Speaking with Bionic Buzz during the Ryman Arts Fundraiser, Feige was asked about The Eternals and how they're attempting to tackle a brand new team of heroes that have very little fan-association. While that angle is seen as a hurdle in terms of adapting new comic book characters on the big screen, the Marvel Studios president said that they actually treat the public's unfamiliarity with the characters an advantage:
“Your reaction about not being familiar with the Eternals is perfect, because most people weren’t familiar with Guardians [of the Galaxy] and believe it or not there were people that were not familiar with Avengers or with Iron Man. So for us, it's finding great stories whether people have heard of them or not and bring them to the big screen in as amazing a way as we can.”
Feige has a point. In its 10 years, Marvel Studios has mostly relied on their lesser known characters to build the MCU, having sold most of their top tier characters to other studios a couple of decades ago. Prior to their successful big screen adaptations, the Avengers are only second to X-Men when it comes to superhero team popularity. While it was definitely a risk building a cinematic universe on the shoulder of Tony Stark/Iron Man, Thor and Steve Rogers/Captain America, the fact that the public weren't that familiar with them gave them the creative freedom to craft their own versions of the characters in their films. Not that they significantly altered the heroes' characterization, in fact, they've mostly stuck with their respective origin stories in print. But they had the wiggle room to update certain parts of their stories in order to both appeal to long-time comic book readers and casual movie-going audience.
Marvel's strong suit has always been their grounded and their relatable characters - something that co-creator Stan Lee had always been adamant about. That principle still holds true in the MCU with Feige at the helm as they mostly craft their narratives to service the heroes (unfortunately, most of the time at the expense of their villains). Despite the cinematic universe's flaws, one thing that they always seem to nail is their key players, who fans are emotionally invested in. And if their track record for compelling characters continues, the public will have new heroes to root for in The Eternals.
Source: Bionic Buzz
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