The Eternals is a perfect place for Marvel Studios to explore more of Thanos' backstory. The last eleven years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have primarily been about the build-up to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, and a confrontation between Earth's Mightiest Heroes and the Mad Titan. They took a slow approach to get there, but it worked out in the best way possible.
One of the highlights of Avengers: Infinity War was Josh Brolin's performance as Thanos and how layered of a character he became under the writing of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and the Russo brothers' direction. He was positioned as the central character of Avengers: Infinity War and was victorious in his plan to save the universe. But, Avengers: Endgame saw him (and a 2014 version of himself) die, and his plan reversed. And even with the attention given to him and his currently deceased status, many still want to see more of him.
The good news is that the MCU is likely on the verge of jumping around its timeline a lot. Black Widow is a prequel movie in some form, while a new Phase 4 property in The Eternals is rumored to span thousands of years. The film is currently lining up an all-star cast featuring Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, and more, but it could also bring Brolin and Thanos back to the MCU. As explored in the latest Screen Rant video, The Eternals is an excellent way for Thanos' backstory to be explored.
The key to Thanos being featured in The Eternals is that he is also an Eternal, at least in the comics. This is how Jim Starlin imagined the character, and Thanos' home of Titan has also become the planet of the Eternals. In the MCU, it has not yet been confirmed that Thanos is an Eternal, but Infinity War did show Titan as a once thriving civilization with what appears to be other regular looking Eternals living on it. Most of them do not look like Thanos, who has his distinct purple skin and larger build because he is a Deviant offspring. Since the Deviants are routinely vilified, a younger Thanos could also be an outcast of Titan and other Eternals out of fear, explaining how he became the Mad Titan.
Furthermore, Marvel Studios has already been planting seeds at how Thanos' earlier days in the MCU could be essential or worth exploring. His father, A'Lars, is namedropped in Avengers: Infinity War and could also appear in The Eternals potentially, showing audiences what type of upbringing Thanos had before he wanted to wipe out half the universe. There was even concept art for Avengers: Endgame of a younger Thanos and the filmmakers considered including Thanos' entire backstory at one point in Avengers: Infinity War. With those ideas unused, The Eternals could pick them up and incorporate Thanos into its story in a supporting role.
Most importantly, tackling Thanos' backstory could strengthen his overall arc in the MCU and allow the character to return without undoing the events of Avengers: Endgame. If any of this is in Marvel's plans, then The Eternals is the perfect place to do it.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019