‘Eternals’ Director Promises There’s an Explanation for Why They Didn’t Help the Avengers Fight Thanos

The upcoming Marvel Studios movie, Eternals, is expected to be unlike anything the Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen before. It introduces a new set of heroes that are a lot older and more powerful than most Avengers. Given this nugget of information, some fans have wondered where the Eternals were when Thanos reigned terror over the universe. Thankfully, the director of the next Marvel film, Chloé Zhao, recently promised that there is a good reason why fans have never seen the Eternals before.

Chloé Zhao, 'Eternals' director, poses with her Oscar award.
Chloé Zhao | Photo by Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images

Chloé Zhao reassures fans that there is a good reason why the Eternals did not show up in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

In an interview with Total Film, Zhao was asked about the Eternals not interfering when Thanos snapped half of the universe’s population out of existence. She said, “[The audience] will understand why. Not only why, but how complicated not interfering made them feel. We explore that. You’ll see that in the film. The Eternals were instructed not to interfere with any human conflict unless Deviants are involved. There’s a reason why that’s the case. And that was the instruction from the prime Celestial Arishem.”

So, the Eternals were forbidden by the Celestials from interfering with human matters that did not involve Deviants. However, the reason behind why the Eternals were instructed not to get involved is murky. There is definitely something else going on here.

Could the Celestials have an ulterior motive for convincing the Eternals not to offer their services outside of battles with the Deviants? We can speculate as much as we want to. But fans will just have to see the film to find out the answer.

Who are the new MCU heroes?

In the comic books, the Eternals are an alien race that has lived for millennia. The Celestials created them when they visited Earth a million years ago. They conducted experiments that formed the Eternals and the Deviants. The Eternals are some of the most powerful beings in the universe whose priority is to protect Earth (from the Deviants). So, it’s understandable why fans questioned where the Eternals were when Thanos sought out the Infinity Stones in Avengers: Infinity War.

Because the Eternals are quite old, the MCU film will jump around in time to tell their story. Zhao, an Oscar-Award winning director, talked about the different time periods in the movie with Total Film. She said, “What excited me is the idea of going back in time, and exploring [the time] before Thanos was born, before anyone was born. Where does the MCU go back in time? And that brings us to the mythology of the Celestials. Anything involving the Celestials is going to be at a huge scale level of complication, let’s put it that way.”

From the sounds of it, Eternals will be a ground-breaking, epic film in the MCU.

Everything we know about ‘Eternals’

Set after Avengers: Endgame, Eternals is Marvel Studios’ latest installment into Phase 4 of the MCU. The official logline reads, “The epic story, spanning thousands of years, features a group of immortal heroes forced out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s oldest enemy, the Deviants.”

As mentioned above, Chloé Zhao directs the movie. The ensemble cast includes Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie as the Eternals.

Eternals is coming to theaters on Nov. 5.

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