'Eternals' acknowledges the DC Universe within the MCU

Director Chloe Zhao spoke about the reference.

October 26, 2021, 10:37 AM

Sure, superheroes exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but thanks to a couple of lines in the "Eternals," costumed do-gooders from Marvel Comics competitor DC are apparently also a thing.

There's a line in the yet-to-be released film that acknowledges for the first time that regular people in the MCU are aware of Superman and Batman, and that's because of "Eternals'" Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao.

"I take responsibility of that," she recently told Variety.

Warning, spoilers ahead!

After a new "Eternals" teaser was released last week, viewers learned that at one point in the movie, a young character recognizes Richard Madden's Ikaris from seeing him in action.

He exclaims, "That's Superman! With the cape, and you were shooting laser beams out of your eyes!"

Ikaris then winks, "I don't wear a cape."

Another scene has Don Lee's Gilgamesh referring to the butler of Kumail Nanjiani's Kingo as "Alfred," who is, of course, the keeper of the Caped Crusader's secrets.

While the reveals blew fans' minds, Zhao explained to Variety how the multiverse-shaking name-drops came to be.

"We're playing on a genre that draws so much from mythology, and Superman, for example, was created in the comics and also by these brilliant filmmakers along the way -- they're modern reinterpretations of a mythical characters that exist in different cultures," she said.

She continued, "Ikaris is our interpretation of it. It doesn't mean we can’t pay tribute to the really iconic version that we’ve all grown to love and has influenced us."

The unprecedented references obviously got the blessing of Marvel Studios' head Kevin Feige.

"I don't think there was a conversation ... except, he goes, 'Oh, that's cool,'" Zhao said.

"Eternals" hits theaters Nov. 5.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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