Marvel's Eternals will be released exclusively to theaters and will not receive a simultaneous streaming release to Disney+, claims a new report from industry insiders. This comes following the huge success of recent Marvel outing Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which has so far grossed over $162 million worldwide, breaking numerous box office records along the way. It was reported before the release of Shang-Chi that Disney would decide how best to move forward with Eternals depending on the financial results, and it seems they have now decided that theaters are back.
So far, only Black Widow has been given a simultaneous theatrical-and-Disney+ release, with the Marvel outing made available through Premier Access, and it resulted in much controversy. Lead star Scarlett Johansson has since filed a lawsuit against Disney over loss of earnings caused by the release of the movie to their streaming platform, and states that "Disney intentionally induced Marvel's breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel. It's no secret that Disney is releasing films like Black Widow directly onto Disney+ to increase subscribers and thereby boost the company's stock price - and that it's hiding behind Covid-19 as a pretext to do so."
The controversy does not stop there however, with Disney CEO Bob Chapek describing the exclusive theatrical release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings under the new 45-day window as an "experiment", a comment which was not met well by lead actor Simu Liu. Thankfully, and deservedly, the so-called experiment has paid off, and now it seems that the Eternals will follow Shang-Chi into the quasi-uncertainty of a more traditional release.
Eternals will introduce audiences to a whole new side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and picks up following the events of last year's comic book blockbuster event, Avengers: Endgame. Enter the Eternals, a species of immortal aliens from a distant planet who arrived on earth thousands of years ago and have been protecting humans since the dawn of time. Created by the Celestials, a race of powerful extra-terrestrial cosmic beings who have secretly lived on Earth for over 7000 years, the Eternals must reunite to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants.
Eternals is written and directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Chloé Zhao, with Patrick Burleigh also contributing to the screenplay. Starring an epic ensemble cast including Hollwood icon Angelina Jolie as the fierce Eternal warrior, Thena, Richard Madden as Ikaris, the tactical leader of the Eternals, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, an Eternal who can shoot cosmic energy projectiles from his hands, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, an Eternal with the gift of super-speed, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, who poses super-intelligence, Salma Hayek as Ajak, the leader of the Eternals, and Don Lee as Gilgamesh, the strongest Eternal, the movie should be far from lacking in standout performances.
Eternals is scheduled to be released in the United States on November 5, 2021, as part of Phase Four of the MCU, and it sounds like you'll need to leave your home and go the theater to see it. This news comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter editor Matthew Belloni's What I'm Hearing newsletter.