The Marvel Cinematic Universe ended the Infinity Saga by saying goodbye to its greatest villain, Thanos. As part of its upcoming Phase Four, Marvel plans to introduce the relatively obscure cosmic characters: the Eternals.
Chief among the Eternals' enemies are the devilish Deviants. Although it hasn't been brought up in anymovies, Thanos himself is one of these Deviants. By going into the mythology of the Eternals and the Deviants, the Eternals film may be setting up a return appearance of the Mad Titan, and a look into his unknown backstory.
A DEVIANT SPECIES
The Deviants, like The Eternals, are the result of genetic experimentation on the human race conducted by the meddling Celestials. While the Eternals typically had uniformly human appearances, the Deviants, true to name, had monstrous appearances that were unique to each individual Deviant, which can be seen modeled by Thanos.
The Deviants also had more varied and unique abilities, as opposed to the similarity of the Eternals' superhuman faculties. These two races warred against each other, with the Deviants continually attacking early humanity with their own advanced technology. These experiments also created the capability of mutation within humans, which is the reason why future generations started to develop superpowers at such an accelerated rate.
A TITAN AMONG DEVIANTS
Despite being such an important character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far, much of Thanos' back story from the comics was glossed over in the Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers films. In the comics, Thanos is the son of Eternal, A'lars, and the Titanian woman, Sui-San. Despite this, he is afflicted with the Deviant Syndrome, resulting in his appearance being unseemly compared to his parents and his brother Eros. RELATED: The Eternals: Who Is Angelina Jolie's Marvel God, Thena?
This was made even more apparent when he began to experiment upon himself in his adolescence, resulting in his strength and size becoming vastly augmented. This made him stand out even further against the other Eternals on the planet Titan, who were physically weaker than their Terran counterparts. Early concept art showcasing Thanos' unseen movie origin shows him in a younger, thinner form next to what may be the cinematic version of his family.
Nothing about this origin would be contradicted by what the movies have chosen to adapt so far. In fact, by completely ignoring these elements so far, Marvel would be free to include them in Eternals without it feeling like a retread or a retcon. This would also give further depth to Thanos as a character, and explaining more of how he developed his mindset and mission. Marvel Studios' executive vice-producer, Victoria Alonso, has also expressed interest in seeing Thanos' early years fleshed out on the screen. Though there may not have been room to fit this storyline in during previous movies, Eternals is the perfect opportunity to supply this to fans.
PHASING INTO THE FUTURE
The Eternals are not very well known even among comic book fans. Though the Marvel banner is practically a license to print money on at this point, Marvel Studios may still want something to guarantee that longtime and more casual Marvel fans alike come to watch its newest movie. This is especially true among more the latter group, who may feel comparatively "done" with Marvel after the closure of Endgame. And that's not even getting into how unorthodox and unfamiliar the upcoming Phase will be, especially for devotees of more mainstream characters like Iron Man or Captain America.
There's no bigger villain in cinema right now than Thanos, and by including the backstory of such a now-iconic bad guy, Marvel would easily guarantee interest in Eternals. This is even truer if it emphasizes that the Deviants, the bad guys of the movie, are the race that Thanos belongs to, which would draw in potentially lapsing viewers immediately by attaching a sense of importance to a something that theretofore was largely unknown.
It's unknown how much Eternals will spend on backstory, especially given the number of characters, so fans will have to wait and see if the Mad Titan is snapped back into action.
Directed by Chloé Zhao from a screenplay by Matthew and Ryan Firpo, Eternals stars Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh and Angelina Jolie as Thena. The film arrives in theaters on Nov. 6, 2020.