That may come as a surprise to fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, given how separated Eternals otherwise was from Marvel’s other film and TV projects. Even the film’s post-credits scenes, the subject of much debate this past week, focus more on setting up an Eternals sequel than they do on connecting the film to the wider MCU.
As such, one might think that Marvel always intended for Eternals to be its own, standalone movie. However, it turns out that’s actually not the case. The film very nearly featured some massive MCU cameos.
Major Eternals spoilers ahead.
Eternals’ Post-Credits Cameos
During a recent interview with TheWrap, Eternals screenwriters Ryan and Kaz Firpo opened up about the film’s two post-credits scenes — and how they evolved over the course of the film’s development and production.
Notably, Kaz Firpo revealed that one abandoned post-credits idea would have seen Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror showing up to “have a little conversation with these guys.” Another scene that was apparently tossed around would have seen the surviving Eternals officially joining the Avengers.
In the film’s second post-credits scene, fans now know that it was none other than Mahershala Ali’s Blade who’s heard preventing Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman from touching the Ebony Blade. But, according to the film’s writers, Marvel wasn’t always sure about who the scene’s surprise character should be.
While the writers would “neither confirm nor deny” whether Marvel considered Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange being the one to interrupt Dane, Kaz Firpo did reveal that, “Once upon a time it may [have] even been [Anthony Mackie’s] Sam [Wilson], our new Cap.”
Conversations with Conquerors — Of course, as Marvel fans now know, Eternals’ post-credits scenes don’t feature any appearances from existing MCU figures. Instead, both scenes introduce and/or further set up new MCU characters, including Harry Styles’ Eros, Patton Oswalt’s Pip the Troll, Harington’s Dane Whitman, and Ali’s Blade.
That said, the idea that Majors’ Kang the Conqueror nearly showed up at the end of Eternals is frankly fascinating. Not only would a scene like that have firmly connected Eternals to the rest of the MCU, but it also would have confirmed that the Eternals themselves are going to have major roles to play in the franchise’s future.
Additionally, Firpo’s comment about how the originally pitched scene would have shown Kang sitting down to have a “conversation” with the Eternals adds an interesting new dimension to the MCU villain. Does this mean upcoming MCU titles will see Kang trying to lure powerful heroes over to his side? Or is Kang instead aware of how powerful the Eternals are, and doesn’t wish to fight them when he launches his inevitable campaign for multiversal domination?
Either way, the mere prospect of Eternals’ abandoned Kang scene presents interesting new possibilities for the character’s MCU future.
Meanwhile, the reveal that it was almost Sam Wilson who approached Dane Whitman at the end of Eternals suggests that the scene may have originally been envisioned as a way for Marvel to start connecting the film’s characters to the rest of the MCU — similar to how Shang-Chi’s Bruce Banner and Carol Danvers appearances tied that film into the bigger picture. Unfortunately, this also suggests Dane and Blade’s MCU futures may not be as entwined as we originally thought.
The Inverse Verdict — More than anything, these comments confirm that Marvel’s Phase Four plans aren’t nearly as set in stone as fans might like to think they are. Indeed, the fact that Eternals’ post-credits scenes were almost totally different suggests that the studio may still be figuring out how it wants to integrate Eternals nto the rest of the MCU.
Appearances from either Kang or Sam Wilson, for instance, would have done a lot to secure the Eternals’ place in the MCU and would have made their importance in Marvel’s future crossover conflicts clear. Instead, fans will just have to wait to see exactly how and when Marvel decides to connect the lives of the Eternals with the rest of the MCU’s heroes.
Eternals is now playing in theaters.