John Ridley’s Scrapped Eternals Series For Marvel Was ‘A Really Weird Story’

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Written By Sedoso Feb

Ridley was working on an “Eternals” TV series as long ago as 2019, back when Marvel TV was still a more clearly separate entity from Marvel Studios. Marvel TV, one might recall, was behind shows like “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Agent Carter,” and the Netflix shows “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” and “Iron Fist.” In 2019, Marvel TV was shut down and its shows were incorporated into Marvel Studios. It wasn’t until after the merger that the MCU-connected Disney+ shows “WandaVision” and “Hawkeye” came into being. Ridley, it seems, was working on an “Eternals” spinoff for Marvel TV prior to the merger, and the project was scrapped in the shift. He said clearly on Comic Book Club that his long-hidden scrapped project “was a television version of ‘The Eternals‘ … But good.”

Perhaps his “but good” referred to Zhao’s underwhelming action; when it comes to heady sci-fi concepts, the “Eternals” movie is first-rate. When it comes to fighting and traditional superhero mayhem, however, it is lacking. Ridley certainly didn’t think much of Zhao’s film, saying: 

“My version was the good version. […] It was so f***ing 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 revealed that he wanted to tap into the weirdness of the “Eternals” concept and that his series would have begun with a string of off-putting and surreal images to establish who the Eternals were. He doesn’t go so far as to describe specific characters, stories, or even the premise, but he did note that one of his early ideas was to begin his show with someone drilling into their brain. 

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