The Eternals recently made their big screen debut in the eponymous film. However, it seems John Ridley had plans to bring the characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe long before Chloe Zhao ever entered the picture.
Chloe Zhao’s The Eternals will go down in history as one of the most divisive MCU projects, with many considering it a masterpiece and others… trash. One of the film’s many detractors is Academy Award winner John Ridley, who revealed he once developed his own version of Marvel’s beloved heroes that he described as “just weird.”
“My version was the good version,” Ridley explained on a recent episode of Comic Book Club. “It was so f**king weird. There was my version, a good version, which is good to me, which doesn’t mean anything. There was the version that [Marvel] ended up doing, which … I don’t think that version was particularly good, I’ll be honest, and for all kinds of reasons.”
“My version started with, the first thing you see is a young man, probably about 18 years old. And he’s sitting there. He’s sitting there for a moment. And then he lifts his hands. He has a drill in it. He turns the drill on. And he puts the drill to his ear and starts pushing in.”
“And then it goes from there. That’s the start, right? That’s how it starts. And then I think you see another kid who sleeps in the bathtub, covers himself with foil. It’s just a really weird story about these people who are, I mean, it’s just weird.”
John Ridley’s version of The Eternals, which would have been part of Disney’s collaboration with ABC, certainly seems to align with Marvel’s vision at the time. The network took some… creative liberties when it came to its use of characters in the MCU (see: Inhumans). Regardless, it certainly seems Chloe Zhao’s version at least ended up being more faithful to the comics than Ridley’s proposed series, for better or for worse.
Are The Eternals Over?
While Patton Oswalt previously reported that Chloe Zhao would return to direct a sequel, there is currently no news about a potential sequel to Eternals. Marvel Studios has also set most of their release dates for the following phase up to Avengers: Secret Wars, making a sequel anytime soon unlikely.
Here is the synopsis for Chloé Zhao’s Eternals:
The story takes place across two time periods. One storyline is set in the past when they operated as a formidable team and a close family unit. The second storyline is in the present, when the group has fractured and split apart, content to live among humans, hiding in plain sight. The prevailing threat of the Deviants, which once again threatens the existence of mankind, means the Eternals need to put their differences aside and regroup.
Chloé Zhao directed Eternals from a script she co-wrote with Patrick Burleigh, Kaz Firpo, and Ryan Firpo. The cast of the Marvel Studios project includes Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Barry Keoghan as Druig, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, Salma Hayek as Ajak, and Angelina Jolie as Thena.
Eternals is available to own on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD and also to stream on Disney Plus. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the future of the MCU, and subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content!