With the internet’s raid on Area 51 behind us, those who still seek aliens may want to look towards the Marvel Cinematic Universe. New set photos from the set of The Eternals hint that parts of the 2020 film will take place in Babylon in ancient Persia, with sets for the Ishtar Gate being built for the movie.
The set is just one example of the several ancient civilizations that secretly carry the influence of the alien race, the Eternals, in the source comics. It’s possible the film will visit more historic realms in addition to Babylon.
On Saturday, a Reddit user named u/Spider-Ranger shared photos of their vacation to Fuerteventura, in Spain’s Canary Islands, on the Marvel Studios Spoilers subreddit. Lo and behold, Spider-Ranger’s tour took them right in front of the set of The Eternals.
Spider-Ranger’s photos depict several structures that resemble old buildings, as well as all the trucks and cranes one expects to see on a film set. But the most telling item is a large replica of the Ishtar Gate, the gate that opened to the ancient city of Babylon. While the gate no longer exists where it used to be in present-day Iraq, a reconstructed version, completed in 1930, can be seen at Berlin’s Pergamon Museum.
As Spider-Ranger wrote on Reddit:
“It was made of blue bricks and decorated with golden lions and snakes: the Ishtar gate - entrance to Babylon, capital of the old Persian empire! So this valley on Fuerteventura is standing in for Persia, which will be featured in Marvel’s Eternals! Persia was the world’s first empire, and just like the Greek empire, it had a plethora of gods. Some of which might be mistaken Eternals…….. Btw: there were no actors on set since filming there is supposed to start early October.”
Spider-Ranger’s photos of The Eternals set can be seen here.
No word on whether the Eternals also had the musical powers of Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman, but hey, stranger things have happened in the MCU.
In previous interviews, Marvel’s Kevin Feige has described The Eternals as evoking the classic trope of ancient aliens: older civilizations long before ours had made contact with visitors from beyond our solar system. From the Egyptian pyramids to tiny skeletons found in Chile, it’s a popular speculative concept even though it is routinely debunked by hard science.
“There’s this notion of all of these myths and legends that we know from ancient times, were they inspired by the Eternals?” Feige told ScreenRant in a 2018 interview. “It’s an ancient aliens kind of sci-fi trope that we think would be fun to explore someday.”
Created by Jack Kirby in 1976, the Eternals are a race of alien super-beings tasked with protecting Earth by the Celestials. The Eternals are pitted against their rivals, the Deviants, who are evolutionary counterparts from the Eternals’ own creation. As their name implies, the Eternals are effectively immortal. In the MCU, they have embedded themselves among the humans for a long, long time, leading up to the modern day. Additional set photos of The Eternals from London emerged today that show Gemma Chan, who will appear in the film as an Eternal named Sersi, in contemporary clothing.
The Eternals will be released in theaters on November 6, 2020.