Both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DCEU unfold in a world where superheroes exist among us, and they regularly swoop in to save the day from both Earthbound and intergalactic threats, but they’ve largely been very reticent to acknowledge the existence of the other.
Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man mentioned Superman in passing, but for the most part neither Marvel nor DC have been keen to outline that the comic books people read in the mythology may feature characters who originated elsewhere. Of course, that didn’t dissuade Eternals director Chloé Zhao from name-dropping Superman, and in a new interview with ComicBook the two-time Academy Award winner explained why she wanted to include the Man of Steel.
“I think we’re in the business of telling stories about mythology, and Superman, for example, comes from origin of mythology. In many different cultures, there’s a form of Superman. And the people that created Superman and the brilliant filmmakers who brought Superman to screen, their movies are basically, in my opinion, doing a modern interpretation of that mythology. It doesn’t mean we can’t pay tribute and have a good time with these iconic ones that we all love to so much. I mean, who doesn’t love Superman and Batman? Clearly our Eternals like them.”
As you may have noticed during your time on the internet, there’s an often tribal rivalry between fans of the MCU and DCEU, with Elizabeth Olsen trending for decade-old comments she made about Catwoman being the latest example. Now that we’ve heard Superman’s name in Eternals, perhaps Ezra Miller’s Flash will out himself as a Captain America fan.
Then again, maybe things will simply remain the way they’ve always been, even if James Gunn admitted he’d used his pull in both camps to try and gauge the interest of a crossover to end all crossovers.