It’s easy to feel torn on this matter since, on one hand, sequels can really begin to degrade an idea unless it’s bolstered in some way by the original, core reason for making the movie. This is why there are sequels in the MCU that feel solid and follow right along with the first movie and those that feel like they wandered into a fog-filled realm of uncertainty, kind of the sequel to Thor. Thankfully, that one was pulled back by Thor: Ragnarok, which then pushed the storyline into Infinity War. But after realizing how many characters are going to be in The Eternals, it does feel as though a sequel might be warranted, or that spinoffs might be a good idea since it might allow the story to expand a little further into the MCU and allow these characters a chance to interact with others rather than remain on their own. But so far it would appear that The Eternals will be getting just one movie that will act as a standalone feature that will perhaps be seen as an anchoring point for Phase 4 to work around.
That might actually make sense and could keep things a little more open in a way that would inspire another movie or two, or more, to include these characters, instead of demanding it. There’s always a chance that any possibility of a sequel could be shot down at one moment and then entertained when the fans finally have their say after watching the movie, which comes out in a few days. But in the history of the MCU, sequels have been important, but not always as successful as people might want to think. One only has to look at a few of them to see that sequels might be necessary to push things forward, but aren’t bound to the backbone of a cinematic universe. There are sequels in the MCU that have been able to push forward and advance the story in a manner that’s made sense, such as the Iron Man and Captain America sequels, which provided a lot of the framework for the movies to come. Even the third Thor movie really did a lot to push the idea of the MCU that’s still to come.
The Guardians of the Galaxy sequel did a great job as well, as did the second Spider-Man movie. So to be fair, the sequels have dipped a little in terms of popularity and success at times, but they’ve still been enough to keep the general idea of the MCU rolling forward, which is something that The Eternals appears to be set to muck up just a bit. The whole idea of existing among the humans but not interfering in their lives is something that feels a little unbelievable simply because it provides a perfect reason why the Eternals weren’t a part of the MCU before now. Obviously, it’s necessary to retcon the story a bit since otherwise, it’s a glaring hole that a lot of people would talk about without cease, but it does feel as though The Eternals will still have to earn their place in the MCU despite their history and the idea that they’ve been around for so long. Everyone has to earn their place after all, especially if they want fan support.
So far the story sounds like something that could lead to spinoffs and possibly a TV series if those at the MCU have the inclination to do such a thing, but a standalone is a risky proposition when introducing so many characters into the MCU without any plan to continue forward with them. In a way, it almost feels as though this might be the plan anyway, but until we know for certain it’s going to be kind of a guessing game to see if those in charge are adamant about not giving this movie a sequel or if they’re simply trying to keep people from speculating too much about it. That’s not a sound strategy, to begin with since people are going to take even the slip of an idea and run with it as much as they can, especially if it has something to do with something they happen to be interested in. The MCU is the type of newsworthy story that a lot of people are going to keep digging at, as there’s too much there to be easily ignored.
If there really is no sequel then it’s a big hope that the movie will be something special that will be able to tell the story of the many different characters in a way that will inspire people to believe that a sequel isn’t needed. That appears to be the general attitude within the MCU anyway, but we’ll have to wait and see if that’s the case, or if they’re just fooling themselves.
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