Eternals Characters’ Next MCU Appearance Will Be Sooner Than Expected

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The Eternals are rumored to return to the MCU soon, but not in a direct sequel to Chloe Zhao’s divisive Marvel Studios film.

Although Eternals failed to meet commercial expectations, earning only $402 million globally, the film represented a bold stride into uncharted creative territory for Marvel Studios. To ignore the Eternals after one underperforming outing would be short-sighted, given the potential for fresh story angles that their backgrounds and abilities allow within Marvel’s ever-expanding cinematic universe.

According to scooper CanWeGetSomeToast, the Eternals will return in an episode of What If…? season 3 titled, “What If… the Eternals Never Stopped the Emergence?” While unconfirmed by Marvel Studios, this indicates that the cosmic beings will reunite onscreen sooner than expected, as What If…? season 3 is already in production. Such a premise allows for the return of Eternals characters like Ikaris, Sersi, and Sprite without continuing their specific storyline from the film.

What If…? explores alternate reality spins on iconic MCU moments across the multiverse. Having premiered in August 2021, the first season reimagined key events such as Peggy Carter taking the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers. It was praised for its imagination and featured a stellar voice cast. A second season debuted this past December, raising the stakes even higher across its nine episodes. Production on What If…? season 3 began in July 2022 when story editor Matthew Chauncey took over as head writer from AC Bradley, who departed after season 2.

If the rumor proves true, the What If…? season 3 episode would likely showcase an alternate outcome where the Eternals fail to prevent the events depicted in their 2021 film. Fans could see global cities crumbling, odd cosmic phenomena emerging, and humanity struggling to survive in the aftermath. An unstopped Emergence event of this magnitude could also force unexpected alliances between the Eternals and other MCU heroes like the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, or even the gods of Asgard to have any hope of saving the planet. The series has already featured unusual yet intriguing interactions between characters like Korg and Tony Stark, so the Eternals doomsday scenario offers much narrative potential.

Fans shouldn’t count the Eternals out of the MCU yet. Eternals 2 may not happen, but the characters’ long lifespans and powers are too rich to be left unexplored. An episode pitting them against a multiverse catastrophe sounds perfectly suited to their ensemble and What If…?’s style of high-stakes alternate tales.

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