If you're going to tackle a more obscure group of Marvel characters like the Eternals on the big screen, it's probably best that you keep the larger world-building elements of your larger onscreen universe to a minimum, so as not to confuse the audience. This is the approach Marvel Studios took with its upcoming feature about a race of god-like alien beings who have been visiting Earth for thousands of years (in case you were wondering, the story spans all seven millennia).
Producer Nate Moore reportedly compared Eternals to the first Guardians of the Galaxy while speaking with Entertainment Weekly for a lengthy feature piece on the long-awaited movie. While it's more of a standalone piece, the film is still "part of the fabric of the MCU," establishing characters and storylines that will have a major bearing on later projects. Let's not forget that the original Guardians was the first time fans got to see Josh Brolin in all his glory as Thanos. Will Eternals do the same and give us a glimpse at the MCU's next Big Bad? (assuming it's not Kang, of course).
And speaking of the Mad Titan, EW purports that Eternals is all set to answer the question of why the titular crew did not offer any help to the Avengers during the events of Infinity War and Endgame. The long of the short of it is that the Eternals are a lot like Uatu The Watcher (currently featured in What If...?) — they observe humanity, but don't interfere in our race's affairs all that much. Their main concern are the Deviants, a collection of Celstial-created aberrations who, for all intents and purposes, are the dark and mutated reflections of the Eternals.
"It's a little bit like being on a road trip with nine of your closest friends for 7,000 years," Moore said. "In development, we joked that it's like if Tony Stark and Steve Rogers lived together for that long. That friendship will turn into frenemies, and then turn into enemies, and then come back to friendship because you have that common bond. It's like a family."
"I thought, I can go as big and as epic as our meaning in the cosmos, but I can also go intimate and explore all of the internal struggles we have as human beings," added director Chloé Zhao (a recent Oscar-winnner for Nomadland). "Because these characters have lived among us for so long, [they have] the same struggles like identity, purpose, faith, personal freedom versus greater good — all the duality and flaws that make us human."
Barring any pandemic-related delays, Eternals is slated to go full ancient aliens on our butts Friday, Nov. 5. Given that the release is a little less than three months away, odds are good that we'll get a full trailer soon. In the meantime, we'll have to settle for the teaser that debuted back in May. But hey, tell that to Spider-Man: No Way Home, which has yet to release a single shred of teaser material. Marvel is playing a very dangerous game with our emotions right now.