Barry Keoghan shares thoughts on Eternals’ shortcomings

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Barry Keoghan has offered his thoughts as to why the 2021 Marvel movie Eternals seemed to misfire so badly. 

Barry Keoghan is on something of a roll. Anybody who wasn’t firmly in the unofficial Keoghan Appreciation Society would surely have been swayed by his brilliant supporting turn in The Banshees Of Inisherin for which he has received plenty of critical appreciation. The actor may well also be bringing his take on the Joker to Matt Reeve’s return to Gotham City which Reeves is currently writing as well.

Keoghan continues to do a fine job of navigating his career choices, although one step that perhaps didn’t pan out as he’d hoped was 2021’s Eternals, the Marvel team-up movie that failed to connect with audiences and currently sits either near (or at) the very bottom of the MCU filmography, no matter which critical metric you employ.

Chloe Zao helmed the film, coming off a red-hot (and critically beloved) success in the form of Oscar-winner Nomadland. Keoghan believes that Zhao’s unique sensibilities as a filmmaker are what led to Eternals' poor reception, telling the Happy Sad Confused podcast that the director’s style was just too ‘new’ for Marvel audiences to connect with.

As he puts it: “I think Chloe brought a whole kind of feel to it. You know? So Chloe brings – as you’ve seen from her past films – raw performances and really, really touching performances. I don’t think it was… I think it was new. I think it was just new. It was new for the Marvel world.”

There’s certainly some truth to Keoghan’s take on the matter, with the film definitely angling for a different tone to many of its predecessors. For whatever reason, that ‘feel’ failed to connect with audiences although despite that, the actor reiterated his desire to work in the MCU again, adding that he has spoken to Marvel Studios’ executive Victoria Alonso about returning to the role of Druig.

It’s likely that we’ll see Keoghan and his cast mates suit up again, although less likely that will happen in a direct Eternals sequel. Instead, one of the big team-up Avengers films in Marvel’s Phase Six seems likely. Still, along with a possible turn in The Batman 2, not to mention starring in Promising Young Woman director Emerald Fennell’s next film, Saltburn, we don’t suppose Keoghan will be short of work, especially given how his turn in The Banshees Of Inisherin has continued to push his stock as an actor ever higher.

You can catch the full interview below.

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