The debut of Disney+ changed the game when it came for Marvel. Before, it was all about the big screen. Now, shows like WandaVision, Falcon & The Winter Soldier, and Loki are the talk of the fandom; they also play a crucial role in introducing characters and storylines into upcoming feature films. But will the stories also flow the other way? For example, could Eternals get a Disney+ prequel, inspired by the stories left untold in the movie?
Warning: Spoilers for Eternals follow. Eternals begins when the melting polar ice caps accidentally free a group of Deviants, creatures the Celestials sent the titular heroes to Earth to eradicate and have believed to be extinct for nearly 2,000 years. These are deadly, vicious creatures, and initially, the Eternals aren’t ready to face them again. They’ve spent the last several hundred years split apart from each other, living separate lives — lives that don’t get fleshed out much in the films.
Two of the Eternals — Ajak and Gilgamesh — are offed early on in the movie, taken out by Deviants. Fans get to know these two a little bit through flashbacks, but not nearly enough. Moreover, because the story focuses on the present, those flashbacks skim over some exciting aspects of the characters from the comics.
Even the Eternals who survive longer in the film aren’t able to be thoroughly explored. And they should, because they’re interesting AF: During the time the Deviants were believed extinct, Kingo settled in India and became instrumental in the rise of the Bollywood film industry. Druig became a cult leader over South American tribes and worked to keep their culture safe and protected from Western interference and technology. Makkari stayed around the former city of Babylon, assisting with archeological digs while covering up any sign of the Eternals’ presence. Phastos joined with American scientists, quietly helping push technology along until WWII and Hiroshima; he then quit in grief and horror at what he accidentally helped create.
But in a two-and-a-half-hour movie, there’s no time to dig into these individual tales the way a 10-episode weekly limited series might, leaving significant storytelling on the table. Only a few years ago, those backstories might have had to stay on the cutting room floor, left to fan-fiction writers at AO3 to explore. But with Disney+, spinoff series starring these actors are achievable. And the writing team behind Eternals, Ryan and Kaz Firpo, would love to get a crack at it.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Firpo brothers admitted their wildest dreams include getting to do an Eternals prequel. The potential project is currently little more than a running joke between them, but the ideas they spouted for it sound fascinating.
“We’ve said jokingly that there should be an Eternals prequel show on Disney+,” Kaz Firpo said. “Go back and do a Kingo episode in 1890s Mumbai where he is juggling his life as a movie star, dealing with Gandhi’s peaceful dissolution of the British empire in India. And there’s an episode with Thena where she’s in Greece. I would love to make that show.”
A globe-trotting series, in which each episode features a different Eternal in various eras, trying to keep their presence from changing the course of human events, starring this A-list cast? Where do I sign up? Angelina Jolie has already said she’d love to play Thena again, though only in a project that includes the rest of the cast, not a solo film. This could be the perfect vehicle for that to happen.
Eternals is out in theaters now and is expected to come to Disney+ by early 2022.