"Everything after [Avengers] Endgame, and after Spider-Man: Far From Home, will be different and be unique, as we try to make every film. But seeing returning characters is certainly something we're gonna do and want to do. But also introducing characters that the majority of the world has never heard of, much like Guardians [of the Galaxy], much like Avengers before we made Avengers. And there are lots of them," Feige told Collider during the Captain Marvel press tour.
"Eternals are one group, but we like the idea of introducing an ensemble, doing an ensemble movie from the start, as opposed to building up as we did with the first Avengers. More like Guardians, not tonally, but in terms of introducing a new group of people.
"You were asking about '60s, and '70s before. Jack Kirby did an immense, amazing epic with Eternals that spans tens of thousands of years, and that's also something we haven't really done, which is why that among many other things post-Endgame, we find appealing."
Created by Kirby, co-creator of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men for Marvel Comics with Stan Lee, the Eternals are a genetically-altered race of long-living super-beings and the result of Celestial experiments.
Also birthed out of the experiments are the Eternals' enemies, the genetically unstable humanoid race known as the Deviants, who predate humanity and once stood among the Elder Races of the cosmic Marvel universe.
Marvel Comics lore also saw the Celestials perform similar experiments on the homeworlds of alien races like the Kree and the Skrulls, both highlighted as warring factions caught in an Earth-threatening intergalactic conflict in the 1995-set Captain Marvel.
The Celestials were introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when they were glimpsed in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. That film's sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, expanded the lore further with the introduction of powerful Celestial Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell), father of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt).
A reported character lineup listed an ensemble that includes Ikaris, Piper, Elysius, Gilgamesh, Sersi, Makkari, Thena, Zuras, and Eros-slash-Starfox, who in the comics frequently opposes brother Thanos (Josh Brolin).
Chloe Zhao (The Rider) directs The Eternals from a script penned by Matthew and Ryan Firpo (Ruin).
Marvel Studios has yet to announce a release date for Eternals. The Disney-owned studio has nine release dates claimed through July 2022, including reserved spots for Black Widow, Black Panther 2, and Doctor Strange 2.