The Marvel Cinematic Universe is starting to reshape itself post-Endgame.
Several of the original Avengers are suspected to depart the superhero franchise after this upcoming Avengers film, and the MCU is in need of new actors to fill the space. Now, it looks like one of them might be openly gay.
Despite the MCU, and Disney, now having the rights to the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, Marvel boss Kevin Feige is focusing on a lesser known team. Namely, the Eternals.
But even better, the Hashtag Show reports that Marvel Studios and film director Chloe Zhao are hoping to cast an openly gay man as the film’s lead. Though there has been no confirmation on which character would be played by this proposed gay actor, comic experts are guessing it’s a character named Ikaris.
But who are the eternals? They’re a fictional species that evolved from humans. This new Earthling race was created by aliens as the protectors of the Earth. Eventually, a destructive sect known as the Deviants appeared and a great grudge war against the two super powered groups began.
Back in November, 2018, Marvel boss and producer Kevin Feige shared why he’s interested in telling the story of the Eternals.
“You’re 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,” Feige told Bionic Buzz. “So for us, its 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 then later shared that the film could expand the world and universe of the MCU post-Avengers:Endgame.
“Eternals are one group, but we like the idea of introducing an ensemble, doing an ensemble movie from the start, as opposed to building up as we did with the first Avengers. More like Guardians, not tonally, but in terms of introducing a new group of people,” Feige told Collider. “You were asking about ’60s, and ’70s before. Jack Kirby did an immense, amazing epic with Eternals that spans tens of thousands of years, and that’s also something we haven’t really done, which is why that among many other things post-Endgame, we find appealing.”
There is also some speculation that Feige is pushing the Eternals as a way to mock the stunted DC movies.
In an act much like greenlighting Captain Marvel after the success of Wonder Woman and approving Captain America: Civil War to fight Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Feige is trying to take another swing at DC/Warner Bros.
The DC films are currently trying to piece together a New Gods film directed by Selma’s Ava DuVernay. Hearing that, Feige started pushing forward with Marvel’s version of the same story.
In comic book history, Marvel and DC often copied each other and created characters/stories with large similarities. The Eternals and New Gods are no exception.
In 1970, comic book legend Jack Kirby joined DC Comics to work on New Gods, a story about mythological gods in a sci-fi setting. Unfortunately, the series was canceled. Kirby then moved to Marvel Comics and created The Eternals with suspiciously similar themes of a war between god-like creatures. Eventually, that series was also canceled. Though, both teams have reappeared throughout their respective comic universes since their creation.
It seems the history of DC and Marvel fighting with each other for ideas and stories has transitioned to the big screen. But with Marvel still having a major narrative lead, and creative cohesion, it’s a wonder if DuVernay’s New Gods film will hold up in the fight. And now with the news of a gay male actor playing the lead, Marvel is coming in swinging.
The Eternals is expected to start production in the United Kingdom this September and finish in January 2020. There’s currently no official release date beyond that.
h/t: The Hashtag Show