Not every installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is under obligation to nod towards future events, although the vast majority of them do contain at least a little bit of connective tissue to knit the overarching mythology even closer together.
The various trailers and TV spots have made it clear that the events of Avengers: Endgame have a major impact on Eternals, but the narrative itself is less concerned with what happens outside of its own purview. As an origin story for a dozen characters we’ve never met before in a timeline that spans millennia which already runs for two and a half hours, there’s more than enough plot to get through without the movie having to concern itself with the rest of the MCU.
In a set visit interview via The Toronto Sun, producer Nate Moore explains why Eternals was always viewed as a more self-contained story than many of the MCU’s other projects.
“We felt like there was enough story that it could be a contained universe. We definitely have ideas of how things can cross over later. But this movie with ten characters and Dane Whitman and the Celestials and the Deviants, there was enough for us to play with.”
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Even the widely leaked post-credits scene doesn’t set any storytelling directions in stone, even though it teases where things could be headed in the future. We just need to hope that audiences ignore the critical reactions to check out Eternals on the big screen, otherwise it runs the risk of being the MCU’s first one-and-done effort since The Incredible Hulk.