With Comcast making a bid to steal away the Marvel assets owned by 21st Century Fox before the ink on the deal with Marvel Studios is dry, it’s unlikely that we will be seeing the X-Men or Fantastic Four taking the screen alongside the Avengers anytime soon. That, plus the fact that Marvel has just hired Black List writers Matthew and Ryan Firp (Ruin) to pen the screenplay for The Eternals, makes it seem that the “new franchise beyond the Avengers” that Disney CEO Bob Iger recently spoke of is the virtually immortal super-powered offshoot of humanity led by Ikaris.
The Eternals were created by comic book legend Jack Kirby, creator of Captain America and co-creator (with Stan Lee) of the Hulk, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, and was first published in July 1976. The series has started and stopped numerous times over the decades since, but has never had a big following. The Eternals were engineered by the Celestials (the gigantic alien “gods” referenced in Guardians, Guardians 2 and Avengers: Infinity War) to be the defenders of Earth, primarily from their monstrous brothers the Deviants, who they have been warring with for millions of years.
Just as the mythology of the MCU was broadened when Wakanda was revealed to the world, the discovery of one or all three of the Eternal cities — Olympia, Oceana and Polaria — would provide numerous opportunities to explore new cultures with new technologies, while also adding dozens of new superpowered characters to the recently depleted cast. Plus, in addition to the Celestials, the Eternals already have a connection to the MCU through Thanos (Josh Brolin), who is also an Eternal, but from the planet Titan instead of Earth.