Eternals is finally out today and arrives under something of a cloud. It’s currently sitting at a disappointing 51% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it by far the worst-reviewed MCU movie to date. One of the most common criticisms is that there are too many characters, with the movie introducing a whopping ten new heroes and a smattering of other characters.
But in an interview with Deadline’s Hero Nation Podcast, writers Ryan and Kaz Firpo revealed there could have been even more. While making the movie Marvel Studios gave them a binder containing hundreds of Eternals characters from the comics.
The first draft attempted to fit in twelve Eternals, though they soon realized that this was too much for one movie. Two were cut, and one was particularly painful to let go. As Ryan Firpo says:
I think that they… just liked the idea of having a dozen. It’s a nice number, and so they were kind of pushing that. And we were saying ‘that’s quite a lot of people that we’ve never met before.’… but they were just like let’s try it, and so we did it for one draft, and the very first thing they were like ‘okay, let’s only have ten’… One of them was Vampiro, who was a favorite of producer Nate Moore…”
I like to think I know quite a lot about Marvel comics, but even I’ve never heard of Vampiro. It turns out he’s a suspiciously Batman-looking hero who appeared in a 1979 Thor comic. Vampiro – who despite having fangs doesn’t appear to be an actual vampire – is an Eternal who made his name as an unbeaten pro-wrestler. After that debut, he briefly popped up in a 2009 Eternals run, but remains ultra-obscure.
And, for now, it seems he’ll stay that way. Perhaps if Eternals overcomes the bad reviews, we may one day see an Eternals 2 in which Vampiro can finally have his moment in the spotlight. Until then, it’s back to the “who the hell is this guy?” file.
Eternals is now in theaters.