The cast for Eternals indicates that Marvel Studios may be taking steps to make sure its upcoming movie doesn't feel like too much like Thor, which is understandable considering that both movies are centered around a race of superhuman individuals who are viewed as gods to the people of Earth. The first Thor movie introduced audiences to the Asgardians and the gods of Norse mythology, including Thor, Odin, Loki, Heimdall, and more. Asgard and the mythological corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe continued to grow with sequels Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok.
Based on the characters already announced, the Eternals movie will feature a very comic book accurate cast (even though Marvel is gender-swapping three characters). Nearly every core character in Eternals' comics - and even many of the minor characters - will appear in the film in some capacity. So far, the only major omission is Zuras, who in the comic books is the leader of the Eternals. Of course, more casting announcements are on their way, but Zuras being in the movie is still far from guaranteed, especially since Marvel's description of Ajak may eliminate any need for Zuras. At SDCC 2019, it was confirmed that Ajak would be the Eternals' leader.
By making the leader Ajak and not Zuras, Marvel is making a big change to the story, but possibly for good reason. In the comic books, Ajak is a wise, all-knowing figure, the father of Thena, and potentially their most powerful member. Zuras' relationship to the main characters, physical characteristics, personality, and leadership style are all oddly similar to Odin. So avoiding him on the big screen will, in turn, avoid direct comparison's to Odin. Because the similarities between the gods and the Eternals are often referenced in the comics, they may be on the minds of viewers, too.
It's easy to see why fans would compare the two races. Both are extremely powerful and immortal, and they were worshiped as gods. However, a few important distinctions between the two do exist, and these will need to be highlighted in the movie. Unlike the Asgardians, the Eternals live on Earth, and they do so in secret; some have even tried to integrate into human society. Also, their complex powers make them some of Marvel's most unique characters.
Another way to highlight their differences is to remove any character who feels too similar to any Thor character. Since audiences may right away make comparisons between the Eternals and the Asgardians, making their leader too much like Odin would only draw even stronger comparisons, which is the last thing Marvel wants for Eternals. Over the course of 23 movies, Marvel has successfully established a reputation for making each Marvel movie stand on its own and brings something new to the table. So ensuring that Eternals follows this formula and provides a unique viewing experience will naturally be a top priority for Marvel and Disney.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022