Marvel Fan Theory: ‘The Eternals’ Will Introduce These Familiar Heroes Into the MCU

Fox’s series of X-Men movies went out with a whimper when Dark Phoenix failed to connect with audiences. Now, however, there is a possibility that they may appear sooner rather than later. Sort of. 

The second Marvel movie of 2020,  after Black Widow, will be The Eternals‘ due in November, and in one sense, that’s like replacing one team of heroes with another  Not only will this be a new team of heroes in the wake of Avengers: Endgame, they’re supernatural heroes who just may have a connection to the X-Men. 

What do the Eternals have to do with the X-Men?

Kevin Feige speaks onstage
Kevin Feige | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

The X-Men are kind of earth-bound cousins to the Eternals in the comic books. The Eternals are super-powered immortals. Screen Rant points out that the Eternals were created by the Celestials, cosmic beings who began experimenting with human DNA. The movie version of them was seen in Guardians of the Galaxy

Because every hero needs a villain, the Celestials also created the Deviants, structurally unstable beings who are the sworn enemy of the Eternals. In the process of all this creation, the Celestials created the X-Gene, which gave rise to mutants. The big difference between the X-Men and the Eternals is that the Eternals, befitting their name, can live forever. Mutants, as we have seen many times, cannot. 

The former Fox properties connected to Marvel/Disney characters in ways the movies could not exploit. For instance, in the comics, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are not only brother and sister, but Magneto was said to be their father.

Disney could get Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch together (briefly) for Age of Ultron, but before Disney bought Fox, they could not introduce the Magneto connection. Now they could, since, for better or worse, Disney owns the former Fox characters, which opens up more story possibilities. 

What we know will happen with the X-Men

A Screen Rant story that separates the fact from the fan theories notes that Marvel President Kevin Feige and the Hollywood Reporter had this exchange:

THR: “Is there any reason to believe [the X-Men] would not be integrated with the Avengers and these characters as well at some point?” 

Feigie: “No. No reason to believe that.” 

At the same time, Feige has also said it would take a while for the X-Men to show up in the MCU. Perhaps he means it will be a while before we got an MCU movie dedicated to the X-Men. However, that doesn’t mean Feige won’t lay the groundwork for the mutants to appear eventually.

One of Marvel’s strengths as a studio is to take time to build worlds so that the payoff will be greater later. It certainly worked for Avengers: Endgame. It most likely well with the X-Men too. That would be a phoenix rising from the ashes. 

What might happen with the X-Men

So how exactly could the Eternals fit in the Disney X-Men puzzle? This has not been confirmed but a promising fan theory suggests that the X-Men were Eternals that didn’t make the grade. 

It may be that when attempting to create the Eternals, the Celestials will experiment with human genes and create mutants as an accidental side-effect. In other words, the X-Men are failed Eternals, and their cross to bear is they don’t get to live forever. 

Then there is The New Mutants. If that doesn’t sound familiar, that makes sense because that was the X-Men offshoot that Fox was working on before the Disney merger. It was envisioned as kind of a Young Adult version of the X-Men that would only be tangentially connected to the familiar X-Men. 

That movie was supposed to come out in the spring of 2018. Then, not only were there significant reshoots, but New Mutants kept bouncing around the schedule as Dark Phoenix was having its own problems.

The release was delayed for so long, fans began to think Disney might shelve it or kick it Disney+. For now, at least, New Mutants is due to come out in April of 2020. So whether the Eternals connect to the X-Men or not, we’ll at least get some form of X-men on screens before too long.