Just as the MCU has wrapped up its first generation, comprising three phases and 22 films, with Avengers: Endgame, so too is Marvel Studios already hard at work crafting the next generation for an all new generation of fans out there. If G2 shapes up in the same way that the original run did, we might not see a possible G3 until the 2030s, which makes me feel both incredibly old and tells me that the 2020s are going to be an interesting time for the increasingly cosmic MCU. One title that’s definitely in the works is The Eternals, a feature (and hopeful franchise) adaptation of the 1976 creations of Jack Kirby. The “Eternals” were superheroes themselves created by the Celestials to protect life on Earth; expect things to get a bit spacey in the years ahead.
As Variety reports, former Game of Thrones star Richard Madden is in talks to join the picture. He’d play a Ikaris, a member of the third generation of heroes who battle against the equally super-powered beings known as Deviants. (Breeding among the Eternals, you see, is tightly controlled by the Prime Eternal in order to protect against mutations like the Deviant Syndrome, which Thanos himself possessed.) Madden would be stepping into a completely bonkers mythology that has existed alongside the more commonly known exploits in the Marvel universe for millions of in-story years and could cover tens of thousands of years in the MCU. That’s ambitious.
Ikaris himself is a relative newcomer, however, having been born roughly 20,000 years ago. He’s seen the sinking of Atlantis (and Lemuria), battled against Deviants in Ancient Greece, and lost his father in battle against a mutant earthworm. Over his incredibly long lifetime, Ikaris took a personal interest in protecting humanity as the leader of the Eternals, going so far as to walk among them as a professional wrestler for a time. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Madden would join Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, and Ma Dong-seok, with Jolie likely playing Sersi (not Cersei), an Eternal who relishes moving among humans and who falls for Ikaris. Chloe Zhao (The Rider) will direct from Matthew and Ryan Firpo‘s script, with Kevin Feige producing. We’ll see if your average movie-going audience embraces all things Eternals in the years ahead, but this will certainly be an interesting litmus test for the future of the MCU.