Movies & TV / Columns

The Cinematic Future of DC’s The New Gods vs. Marvel’s Eternals

August 3, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
New Gods Eternals

I’m not sure how I would have reacted if you had told me 20 year ago that we’d be in talks to be getting big screen versions of Marvel’s Eternals and DC’s New Gods. The odds of the Eternals getting cinematic love seemed even more far off after the dismal Inhumans television series was dead on arrival but here we are.

Linked by their unique histories and shared spot of being properties that have struggled to find popularity in their respective mainstream universes, the New Gods and Eternals are headed for theaters. But will each find success or failure?

DC has a mixed history with their movie and when they announced New Gods the reaction was mixed. Many, myself included, wondered why they weren’t focusing on their core, more well known, characters. Get those on track before tackling some pretty fantastic ideas that present some difficulties bringing to life.

Yet, here we are. Darkseid will be headed to theaters near you so expect to hear comparisons between him and Thanos from the uneducated masses. Just remind them that Thanos, created by Jim Starlin for Marvel, came three years after Darkseid.

Warner Bros look to be going all in with The New Gods and its director, Ava DuVernay (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time), is dropping hints that it will be huge. .She’s working with Tom King, star DC Comics writer, on the script and made it known that Big Barda and the Furies will be involved in the project.

They face a steep hill thanks to Marvel making excellent use of Thanos while Warner failed to break the Darkseid ice in the Justice League movie and instead made the main baddie…Steppenwolf.

On top of that, when Jack Kirby created the New Gods, also known as The Fourth World Saga, he went all out, introducing some fantastic concepts. A mighty was between the heroic New Gods (led by the Highfather and include Lightray, Big Barda, Black Racer, and Metron) and the evil minions of Darkseid on Apokolips (including the sadistic Desaad, Granny Goodness, Mantis, and…Steppenwolf).

Not to be outdone, Marvel is full speed ahead on The Eternals, also from the mind of Jack Kirby, and set for release just over a year from now. During Marvel ‘s panel at San Diego Comic-Con this year, we got a better idea of what they have in store. Marvel Studio’s Kevin Feige promised it would be going “full Jack Kirby,” which left me with more questions than answers.

Director Chloe Zhao is deep into it and we even got confirmation on the cast, including:

Angelina Jolie as Thena
Richard Madden as Ikaris
Kumail Nanijani as Kingo
Salma Hayek as Ajak
Bryan Tyree Henry as Phastos
Lauren Ridloff as Makkari
Lia McHugh as Sprite

Also during the panel, Feige and actor Madden shared story details, The Eternals are “a group of immortals who have been on earth for 35000 years, but we haven’t met them before,” Feige explained. Madden continued, “The Eternals are immortal aliens, sent to earth by the Celestials to protect the earth from the deviants.”

A difference from their comic book origins but outside hardcore Eternal fans, no one will quibble with the change.

Two very “out there” concepts. Which one are you more excited for and which one will deliver where it counts?