What impact will Eternals have on the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The upcoming, Chloé Zhao-directed superhero epic is set to hit theaters in just a few short weeks, and similar to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the film seems to stand largely on its own separate from the rest of the MCU.
But that doesn’t mean certain Eternals characters won’t go on to become major players within the Marvel universe, or that the events of the film won’t have major consequences in future titles. As a matter of fact, one new rumor suggests that the Deviants vs. Eternals conflict set to play out in the upcoming film may very well help set up the plot of one mysterious, highly-anticipated Marvel sequel.
The Rumor — In a recent conversation with Empire, director Chloé Zhao teased that Eternals will have “huge repercussions on the future of MCU.” On its own, that’s an exciting but intentionally vague statement. However, GWW’s KC Walsh responded to Zhao’s comment with a tweet implying that some of the “repercussions” from Eternals will be felt in next year’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
No additional details were given by Walsh about how Eternals might tie into Wakanda Forever, and because this is an unconfirmed claim about the two films, make sure to take it with a pretty hefty grain of salt for the time being. That said, we have a theory.
Eternals and Black Panther 2
While there’s no way of knowing just how accurate or inaccurate this rumor is right now, it’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time that Marvel fans have speculated that Eternals and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be connected. There’s actually been a growing amount of talk online about the two films, with many believing that Eternals will help set up Namor the Sub-Mariner’s rumored role in Wakanda Forever.
The Marvel comics character has been rumored to be a part of Wakanda Forever’s story ever since The Hollywood Reporter revealed in November 2020 that actor Tenoch Huerta was in discussions to join the film’s cast. Huerta’s role was not confirmed at the time, but rumors quickly began to spread that the actor will be playing Namor, the Prince of Atlantis, in the film. The character has emerged as a rival to T’Challa and enemy of Wakanda in the comics, which makes it easy to see why many believe he’ll be the villain in the upcoming Black Panther sequel.
Eternals, meanwhile, is set to focus on a conflict that has the potential to wreak massive, planet-wide environmental destruction. That devastation has been teased repeatedly throughout Marvel’s various promotional materials and trailers for Eternals as well. However, one shot of a landmass collapsing into a massive whirlpool/wave shown in Marvel’s final Eternals trailer has led many to believe that the destruction caused by the “emergence” of the Deviants in the film will be the source of whatever conflict plays out between Namor, Atlantis, and Wakanda in Wakanda Forever.
Does that mean that Atlantis will be destroyed in Eternals? Or that the destruction caused by the film’s various, land-based battles results in Namor attacking the surface world? It’s hard to say, frankly, but this new rumor suggests that, at the very least, there may be more to the speculation surrounding Eternals and Wakanda Forever than most fans might have initially thought there to be.
The Inverse Analysis — With Eternals’ story set to span several thousand years, there’s ample opportunity for the film to explore the history of the MCU in a way that no other Marvel Studios film ever has. That, in turn, means it has all the potential to set up events, places, and characters that could very well have important roles in other, non-Eternals-related projects.
Whether or not that also means Eternals will set up Namor’s rumored role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is impossible to know for sure — but the potential is certainly there for it to do just that.
Eternals is set to hit theaters on November 5, 2021.