Eternals director Chloé Zhao says the movie explores the MCU "before Thanos was born, before anyone was born"

(Image credit: Marvel/Disney)

Eternals promises to be a Marvel movie like no other. Not only does the upcoming release have Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao at the helm, but the story promises to dive further into MCU lore than any other film or TV series so far.

The Eternals themselves are alien beings that have lived for millennia. They are Earth’s protectors, yet the group did not interfere when Thanos was amassing Infinity Stones.

“[The audience] will understand why,” Zhao assures  Total Film in the upcoming issue of the magazine, featuring Eternals on the cover. "Not only why, but how complicated not interfering made them feel. We explore that. You’ll see that in the film. The Eternals were instructed not to interfere with any human conflict unless Deviants are involved. There’s a reason why that’s the case. And that was the instruction from the prime Celestial Arishem."

The Celestials have already had an impact in the MCU, as we've previously seen one of these great beings – Eson the Searcher – stomping around the universe and using the Power Stone in a flashback during Guardians of the Galaxy. We've also met the Celestial, Star Lord's father Ego. 

Eternals promises to bring in more Celestial mythology, the movie heading back in time – and having big repercussions on things to come.

"What excited me is the idea of going back in time, and exploring [the time] before Thanos was born, before anyone was born," Zhao says. "Where does the MCU go back in time? And that brings us to the mythology of the Celestials. Anything involving the Celestials is going to be at a huge scale level of complication, let’s put it that way.”

Eternals is set to open in cinemas on 5 November. For more on Eternals, be sure to pick up the new issue of Total Film magazine – featuring exclusive interviews with Zhao and the entire cast – when it hits shelves this Thursday, September 16. And as this is a special line-up, there’s not one but FOUR covers to collect, featuring all 10 heroes. Check them out below…

Total Film's four Eternals covers.

(Image credit: Total Film/Disney)

And if you’re a fan of Total Film, why not subscribe so that you never miss an issue? You’ll also get it before it’s in shops, and you’ll get exclusive subscriber-only covers like the Eternals one you can see below. With our current subscription offer at MagazinesDirect, you’ll get the magazine half price too, so what are you waiting for?

Total Film's latest subscription offer.

(Image credit: Total Film/Disney/Warner Bros)
Matt Maytum
Editor, Total Film

I'm the Editor at Total Film magazine, overseeing the running of the mag, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.