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‘Eternals’ sequel hopes take another massive hit after a pair of key players line up new projects outside the MCU

Maybe it's time to just give up.

Image via Marvel Studios

The Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t really deal in one-and-done movies that aren’t designed to launch a sprawling standalone franchise, but Eternals is shaping up to be the exception to the rule.

Black Widow gets a pass because it was a prequel and Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff was killed off in Avengers: Endgame anyway, but otherwise the divisive millennia-spanning epic remains the only one of the 31 features released by Marvel Studios that hasn’t so much as entertained the notion of a follow-up in an official capacity, with the sidebar of The Incredible Hulk for obvious reasons.

Image via Marvel Studios

Kumail Najiani and Patton Oswalt will be reuniting for a blockbuster effect-heavy second chapter, albeit in the successor to Ghostbusters: Afterlife, but now that director Chloé Zhao and star Kit Harington have lined up new projects, any hopes of an Eternals 2 have just gotten that little but further away.

Per Deadline, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker has signed on for literary adaptation Hamnet, while the teased Black Knight has boarded the third season of HBO drama Industry. That rules out four important cogs in the machine for the foreseeable future, but maybe fans should have been preparing themselves for this day to come.

After all, Eternals barely squeaked past $400 million at the box office and ranks as the saga’s worst-reviewed entry on Rotten Tomatoes, and with reinstalled Disney CEO Bob Iger intimating that he’s tightening the purse strings, it’s maybe time to accept defeat on the immortal aliens headlining another big screen outing.

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Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.