What Is Eternals Story? Everything We Know About The Plot

The first trailer for Eternals was light on story details. but the final trailer reveals a lot more, so here’s everything we know about the plot of Marvel Studios’ upcoming Phase Four movie. Following the conclusion of the Infinity Saga, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is evolving in some surprising directions. There are plenty of familiar characters returning to the spotlight in movies and Disney+ shows, but Marvel is also launching new potential franchises. The MCU has several well-known characters who they can still bring to the screen, but Eternals will put another obscure comic team front and center – several years after the risk of Guardians of the Galaxy paid off.

With general audiences having less familiarity with the Eternals characters, Marvel has made up some ground by assembling an incredible collection of talent to bring the concept to life. Eternals is directed by Chloé Zhao, who is now an Oscar-winning director (for Nomadland), and she’s infused the film with a different visual style than past MCU adventures. Gemma Chan leads the diverse cast as Sersi, one of the superhuman beings known as Eternals. She’s joined by Angelina Jolie’s Thena, Salma Hayek’s Ajak, Richard Madden’s Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo, Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos, and more. Their involvement raised interest level in Eternals and is one reason why so many fans are intrigued to see what it holds.

Related: Who Is Eternals’ Villain? Everything We Know

After a few release date delays, Eternals is finally locked in for a November 2021 release date in theaters. Marvel Studios released the first Eternals trailer long after fans thought it would arrive, but it only offered a tease of what the movie will hold. While there were some clues to the plot included in the trailer, the second trailer revealed a great deal more about what the Eternals were up against and why haven’t been interfering with human history. Thanks to various interviews, other marketing materials, and the trailers, here’s everything we know about Eternals’ plot so far.

Eternals Takes Place After Endgame

It is confirmed that Eternals is primarily set after the events of Avengers: Endgame. The movie’s official synopsis revealed this information, but footage from the film provided further confirmation. There is one reference to Thanos and some elements of Avengers: Endgame are also mentioned, like the second snap. Sprite (Lia McHugh) says near the end of the trailer that Iron Man and Captain Rogers are no longer around. This is a clear tie to Avengers: Endgame’s conclusion, where Iron Man died using the Infinity Stones, and Steve Rogers effectively disappeared from the MCU timeline by growing old with Peggy Carter. Furthermore, Sprite calling Steve “Captain Rogers” could signify that the movie takes place after The Falcon and The Winter Soldier as well – which would move the present-day setting of Eternals’ plot to sometime in 2024 or later.

Eternals Is Set Over 7,000 Years

The main part of Eternals’ story might be set in the present-day MCU, but the movie is also confirmed to explore thousands of years of its history. It was previously confirmed through interviews that Eternals’ story spans 7,000 years. The marketing shows just how far back the movie will go, with the poster using the tagline “In the beginning…” and drawing Biblical parallels. This is more likely to reference the beginning of human civilization and the role the Eternals play in it, rather than a sign that the MCU’s universe has only been around for a few thousand years. The Eternals are shown arriving on Earth thousands of years ago and helping civilization advance. They’re also shown in ancient Babylon, which should be one of many time periods and settings that Eternals visits throughout its time-spanning story.

The Eternals Are Spread Over Earth

The Eternals trailer doesn’t provide too many details on what exactly the main characters are up to in the present day, but the second trailer does confirm they are (and have been) separated and scattered across Earth for centuries now. Sersi is shown in the UK – where she’s with Dane Whitman aka Black Knight (Kit Harington) – and Kingo is a famous Bollywood star. Druig appears to be living somewhat in isolation in a forest before the rest of the Eternals come to see him, while Thena and Gilgamesh (Don Lee) seem to be living together. It isn’t clear what Ikaris, Sprite, and Ajak are up to in the present day, but they presumably are off doing their own thing as well, with Ikaris living alone and far away from society. Meanwhile, Phastos has settled down with his husband. Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) is only shown in the modern-day speed-reading by herself with an Oculus headset nearby. It’s Ajak who recruits everyone after the events of Avengers: Endgame brought back half of the world’s population that disappeared in Thanos’ snap. It appears to be what sets off the return of the Deviants, which explains the Eternals’ involvement.

Related: Everything We Know About Marvel’s Eternals Movie

Sersi’s Love Triangle Is Central

In addition to seeing how each of the Eternals are on their own, Eternals will also explore multiple relationships between them, including a love triangle involving Sersi, Ikaris, and Dane Whitman. As the first trailer showed how the movie takes place during different points in time, it used the intimacy of Sersi and Ikaris as one of the constants. They are shown in a close and intimate embrace after arriving on Earth the first time, then again in Babylon, and once more in the present day – presumably after being reunited. However, Gemma Chan confirmed that Sersi has another romance in Eternals and she is dating Dane in the present day. Sersi will seemingly have to pick between Ikaris and Dane, who wonders why the Eternals haven’t been involved in historical catastrophes, as the movie unfolds, and it will be fascinating to see who she chooses.

The Eternals Haven’t Interfered In Past MCU Events

Even though the Eternals have been on Earth for thousands of years, they have not been involved in prior MCU events. Before Eternals, the MCU movies obviously didn’t show them because Marvel didn’t have plans for the characters at that time. Ajak says that the Eternals have helped guide humanity throughout its history but never interfered until now. The second trailer revealed the reason why they never interfered — they were forbidden from getting involved in human affairs by the Celestials, the Eternals’ creators, unless the Deviants posed as a threat. This explains why the Eternals didn’t interfere in Avengers: Infinity War or Endgame.

A Major Threat Brings Eternals Out of Hiding

The Eternals’ stance to not get involved will finally change due to the arrival of a new major threat. The official synopsis reveals it’s the return of the Deviants that is responsible for the Eternals taking a more hands-on approach to save Earth. The Deviants are creations of the Celestials, just like the Eternals, but they are more monstrous in design and are considered the Eternals’ villainous counterparts. There were a couple of Deviants shown in the second trailer, one of which is Kro, the on-again/off-again lover of Jolie’s Thena. Although they are certainly different from the comics, the return of the Deviants is a huge deal. If the Eternals sat out Loki’s invasion of Earth with the Chitauri, Ultron’s attempted takeover, and Thanos’ repeated attacks, the Deviants could be among the biggest threats the MCU has ever faced. What’s most interesting is that the second trailer confirms that it was the massive surge of energy that occurred during the second snap that set off the chain of events the Eternals will handle in their titular film, suggesting the return of humanity at once brought back the Deviants (and maybe the Celestials).

The Celestials Will Appear

The biggest thing that Marvel hid from the first trailer were the Celestials, but they were a small part of the second Eternals trailer. At least one of the giant cosmic beings, Arishem the Judge, was spotted in the footage so far, with the cosmic being’s looming presence scary despite him not uttering a word. The second trailer, in addition to the Deviants’ arrival, suggests the Eternals will interact with their makers. They might also stand against them to defend humanity. If Arishem the Judge is there, it could spell the doom of Earth considering the Celestial is one to decide which civilizations get to live or die. Regardless of how they factor into the story, Eternals will show just how powerful the Celestials are.

MORE: What If The Eternals Were In Infinity War: Would Thanos Have Lost?

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023

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About The Author

Cooper Hood
(4935 Articles Published)

Cooper Hood is a news and feature writer for Screen Rant. He joined Screen Rant in late 2016 following a year-long stint with MCU Exchange, which came after first developing an MCU blog of his own. He graduated college in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Media & Public Communication, with a minor in Media Production. Cooper’s love for movies began by watching Toy Story and Lion King on repeat as a child, but it wasn’t until The Avengers that he took an invested interest in movies and the filmmaking process, leading him to discover the world of film journalism. Every year Cooper looks forward to seeing the latest blockbusters from the likes of Marvel, DC, and Star Wars, but also loves the rush to catch up on Oscar films near the end of the year. When he isn’t writing about or watching new releases, Cooper is a fantasy football obsessive and looking to expand his Blu-Ray collection – because physical media is still king! Follow Cooper on Twitter @MovieCooper.

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