The Celestials have got their way in another Eternals ending. Image: Marvel Studios
Ending a Marvel movie is hard. On the one hand there must be closure and growth for the story and characters at hand. On the other hand, there needs to be plenty of room to move forward to continue the overall franchise. Every movie tries its best to balance those two things, usually with scenes after the credits, and Chloé Zhao’s Eternals is no different. However, while the film was being made, the filmmaker tried an ending that wasn’t quite in the middle.
If you remember, the movie explains how Eternals go to a planet throughout history, make sure it’s safe from a celestial birth that sacrifices the entire planet to save many others, then have their memories erased. before moving on to the next. But this time, these Eternals save Earth from the celestial bodies, retain all their memories, and are forced to bear the consequences. For some of the team, that means being taken to god knows where by the main Celestial, Arishem. For the others, it means traveling across the galaxy to enlighten other Eternals for their struggle, and that’s where they meet Thanos’ brother, Eros.
That’s what happens in the movie. The Eternals remember and continue with the Marvel Cinematic Universe intact. However, speak with Empire, Zhao explained that that wasn’t always the end. “We actually had a different ending that’s really bleak. cool. I didn’t hate it, because I’m used to movies that are more melancholic. But I don’t think it went down well with the public,” she said. This ending would have given the Eternals some of the victory, and the Heavens some of the victory. “It used to end with everyone back on the ship, ghosts erased and just to another planet, like The Twilight Zone,” continues the Oscar winner. “I remember when it went black, everyone was like, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ And it’s also the MCU, and you want to be excited about what’s next.” So basically the Earth was saved, MCU still existed, but these key figures didn’t remember anything about it.
Zhao also explained that changing endings in her movies is not new. “I’ve never made a movie where I wrote the ending! You’ll find it in the edit,” she said. “Editing is a third part of the filmmaking process, and when you show it to people, you find the end. I don’t think I’ve made a single movie where the beginning and end stayed the same as the script just because the scenes are fluid during filming.” Yes, even in the MCU.
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What do you think of this version of the ending? Would it have worked for Marvel in general? Would it perhaps have been better for these characters not to remember the events so that they could be sidelined? Let us know what you think. Eternals will be released on Disney+ on January 12.
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