Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige recently addressed why the upcoming Eternals movie decided to race and gender swap most of the characters from their origins in the comics.
A majority of The Eternals characters have been race and gender swapped. The only characters that look similar to their comic book iterations are Ikaris, Thena, and Phastos.
They changed Makkari to a black, female, deaf character. Kingo now appears Indian instead of appearing to be Japanese. Ajak is Hispanic, Lebanese, and female. Gilgamesh is now Asian, and Sprite is now female and a young girl.
Feige spoke with Variety about the upcoming film, following the movie’s director Chloe Zhao winning Best Director and Best Picture for Nomadland, a film practically no one watched given it has a global box office take of a measly $6.8 million.
Feige would specifically address the Eternals race and gender swapping almost every single character from the comics when Variety’s Kate Arthur asked, “Eternals expands the MCU in terms of representation, with its large international cast, its first LGBTQ superhero — I know some of those things are baked into the Eternals, but how many of those expansive ideas came from Chloé?”
He answered, “Well, the notion of switching up the genders, sexualities and ethnicities of the characters from the comics, was baked in initially — that was part of what Nate Moore was really advocating for in moving “Eternals” to the top of the list for us to start working on.”
“What exactly the makeup was between when Nate put together his internal discussion document, which is how we always start on all of our projects, and what she came in and did, I don’t recall exactly,” Feige added.
Feige then began discussing the casting, where he claims that Sersi is the lead of the film, not Ikaris, who is predominantly the main protagonist when it comes to Eternals stories in the comics.
He said, “When it came to casting, that also did affect it. There were some characters that we change from male to female, there were some characters that we knew how we were altering them from the books. But then also it came down to casting.”
Feige continued, “So for Sersi, for instance — and if there was a lead in this ensemble, it is Sersi, it is Gemma Chan — we looked at and read all sorts of women for that part. And ended up really believing that Gemma was best for it. And thankfully, she’s proven that to be the case in the final movie,” he added.
“So, of course, Chloé was a big part of that decision, and of every casting decision. Some of it was done beforehand, and that continued once she was on board as director,” he concluded.
If it wasn’t clear that this film might be the wokest of all of Marvel’s films so far, Feige pretty much confirmed it. He made it very clear they set out to race and gender swap the majority of the cast before they had even began searching for a director!
Not only that, but it shows where Marvel Studios and Feige’s priorities are. He clearly states the reason for the film being moved to the top of their list of films to make is purely because they could swap the characters’ races, genders, and sexualities.
When you are making movies simply to swap races, genders, and sexualities, you are not doing it right, and more times than not you sacrifice an actual story because you are so blinded by identity politics.
It’s just another sign the Marvel Cinematic Universe is heading down the wrong trajectory, a trajectory that looks very similar to what Disney did to Lucasfilm and Star Wars.
What do you make of Feige’s comments?