It was a different age of Marvel back in 2015. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter were on the air and Daredevil had just premiered on Netflix. Ike Perlmutter was seemingly keeping Marvel from making their worst mistakes, and Marvel Television was still separate from Marvel Studios. Back then, 12 Years a Slave writer/producer John Ridley was working on something for ABC under the Marvel banner. Now he has revealed it was a series adaption of Eternals.
The Oscar winner appeared on the Comic Book Club podcast and spoke at length about what he was doing with Marvel.
The project was halted after Marvel Television was merged into Marvel Studios. Eternals would go on to the big screen in Chloe Zhao’s 2021 film. That movie had one of the best casts ever assembled for a Marvel movie, and yet it had issues. Chief among them was that it was just so f*cking boring. It took me four “instalments” to get through it, and even then I can’t remember a single thing about it, other than tedium.
In the interview, Ridley said:
“It’s not in the works anymore. It was a television version of The Eternals… But good. My version was the good version. It was so f*cking weird. There was my version, a good version, which is good to me, which – that doesn’t mean anything. There was the version that [Marvel] ended up doing, which I don’t think… that version was particularly good. I’ll be honest.”
Ridley said his version didn’t get glowing praise from Marvel, and that it was a tough gig as the subject matter is hard to bring to the screen.
He seems pleased it never came off.
“The best thing to happen for everybody was that it didn’t happen with me, because I don’t know that it would have been entertaining, and I do mean what’s entertaining to me is often not entertaining. Populist, which is great for a lot of the work I do, but this needed to be a little bit more popular.”
Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, and Kit Harington all starred in the movie adaptation. The finale of the movie seemed to promise big things in the MCU, but those things now seem parked in the hope that all will be forgotten.
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