Eternals 2 reportedly scrapped by Marvel Studios

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It looks as though Eternals 2 is a victim of the Marvel Studios’ ‘make fewer but make them better’ mantra, as reports circulate that the sequel has been scrapped.

This might not be surprising news, but Hollywood scooper Daniel RPK is reporting that Marvel Studios has abandoned development on a sequel to 2021’s Eternals. A sequel to the film was never officially announced or even publicly discussed, but it’s not surprising that the studio had plans to bring the characters back for another adventure at some point, despite the original film underperforming both critically and commercially.

Eternals was directed by Chloe Zhao, whose profile rose considerably following her acclaimed debut feature, Nomadland. Her superhero film also featured a raft of acting talent including Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani and Barry Keoghan. The final film didn’t hang together well, however, and was met with poor reviews. It was probably the first significant dent in the idea that Marvel Studios had created a filmmaking formula with better than average quality control.

Of course, the film was being developed at the same time that Disney had ordered a raft of Marvel TV shows for its new streaming platform, and as such, for the first time we saw the latter studio having to stretch its resources, a measure that it has now sworn to reverse in order to make sure that the quality bar for future films is much higher.

That means making fewer films, which is why we’re only getting one MCU movie in 2024 as opposed to the whopping four that we got back in 2021. With fewer projects on the board, it looks as though Kevin Feige and the MCU brain trust have decided that trying to resuscitate a damaged franchise is too risky a move, and so Eternals 2 is no more.

We may see the film’s key players pop up again in Marvel’s interconnected universe, but audience appetite for another film doesn’t seem to be there. Eternals remains significant as the film that began Marvel’s rocky period that would continue for the next couple of years as films like Thor: Love and Thunder, Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania and The Marvels would all fail to hit the box office numbers of old.

Still, with the studio looking to debut some of its most popular characters and storylines in the next few years such as The Fantastic Four, X-Men and Secret Wars all on the way, there’s every chance Marvel banishes the spectre of superhero fatigue. Should Marvel Studios enjoy a resurgence though, it doesn’t look like there’ll be a reprieve for Eternals.

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