It’s still tough to know what to make of Marvel’s upcoming Eternals. The subject matter the movie is based on involves some of the most obtuse comic book lore you’re likely to come across, and the designs of the characters and environments are extremely Jack Kirby. One of the thrills of watching the production unfold has been keeping up with how Chloe Zhao and her creative team are working to translate the world of the Eternals to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
On September 30 Twitter user Eternals2020 posted a series of leaked set photos that give us another glimpse into the world the film is building. Allegedly, these photos depict what’s being called the Tomb of the Gods and may connect in some way to the already-leaked funeral scenes that the cast and crew has recently been spotted filming.
As far as design goes, they look a great deal more familiar than you may have expected. The design of the Tomb of the Gods seems to draw heavily from Mayan and Mesoamerican design and architecture. From the structure of the building to thick geometric patterns and large stone creatures covered in eye-grabbing red and green hues, it looks like something ripped from our world, but from a dramatically older era than our own.
Mesoamerican pyramids were sites of tremendous spiritual and cultural import, beyond being physically imposing and visually striking. Their external surfaces were often decorated with stories about the origins of gods and men. These sites were often used for rituals and ceremonies, and some of these tiered pyramids also served as resting places for prominent leaders and rulers of a given region.
This makes sense given what we know about the source material. Eternals is said to explore the origins of superpowers in the MCU and seems like some parts of the film it will take place in the distant past, thousands and thousands of years before the events we’ve seen in the franchise so far. The historically influenced design and architecture of the Eternals sets we’ve seen so far seems indicates that there’s been a longstanding of cultural exchange between the ancient civilizations of Earth and the Eternals.
There’s no telling how much weirder this movie will get from here but for now, the Tomb of the Gods seems like a strange, exciting step in the right direction for those who eagerly anticipating the film.
Marvel’s Eternals comes to theaters November 6, 2020.