Marvel Studios’ Eternals introduced a handful of brand-new characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, during the post-credits scene for the film, two more characters were introduced, and director/writer Chloé Zhao recently explained how they arrived in the film.
For those unaware, during the post-credits scene in Eternals, Eros — played by Harry Styles — and his partner, Pip, showed up on the Eternals ship, offering their assistance. Eros’ introduction into the MCU is a big deal, as he’s not only another Eternal but also the brother of Thanos, the Mad Titan that acted as the overarching bad guy for the first decade of MCU films.
Speaking to Empire Magazine in a recent interview, Zhao explained that she had always wanted to bring Eros into the MCU with the film, and, in her own mind, theorized how Eros being stationed on Titan could have affected not only his own mind but the mind of his brother as well.
“Long story short, with that depressing ending, at some point he was going to be one of the Eternals on that ship,” Zhao said, referencing the original ending to the film she had in mind. “And that didn’t quite work out. But I had been wanting to bring Eros into the MCU. So I kept mentioning it to Kevin [Feige] at every chance I had in the hallway because I love the idea of Eros being another Eternal, another Ajak. He’s an Eternal, and he was stationed on Titan – 10 of them were, just like the 10 Eternals on Earth, assuming Titan is also a host planet at some point. Now, if you think about that, what influence could Eros have had on the inhabitants of Titan, the way Ajak has influenced people on Earth? And how that has affected Thanos?”
Zhao went on to talk about how the Eternals comics offer a much deeper, “quite beautiful” insight into the relationship between Eros and Thanos, and that’s something that spoke to her. She also touched on his partner, Pip, likening the pair to Han Solo and Chewbacca from the Star Wars universe.
“If you go to the comics, there’s some quite beautiful, heartbreaking influence Eros has had on Thanos,” Zhao said. “And how much does Thanos know? I love him as a character. It makes my imagination go crazy thinking, ‘Why does Thanos think this way? Why is he worried about overpopulation and destroying his planet?’ Think about the emergence – does Eros know about it? Maybe if he’s an advisor, the way Ajak advised kings and queens on Earth? It gets my imagination going.
“For me, the backstory of Eros is that he deserted, he said, ‘I’m not doing this anymore.’ So he somehow got that sphere, which you saw in his hand, and he ran off and made Pip the troll. They’re like Han Solo and Chewie. Arishem’s been looking for him, and he’s just been a space outlaw. That’s the character I had in my mind. But I never said once to Kevin, ‘Here’s the character. Let’s find an actor.’ For me, it was a package deal. It’s got to be Harry. That’s how I pitched it to Kevin.”