• An unmade Marvel TV show centered on the Eternals would have had a darker and more disturbing opening scene than Netflix’s Marvel TV shows.
  • The show would have depicted a teenager using a power drill on his ear and another child sleeping in a bathtub, pushing the boundaries of Marvel’s standards.
  • Ridley’s vision for the Eternals TV series was described as “a really weird story” that would have been significantly darker than the MCU’s version.



An unmade Marvel TV show would have had a pretty shocking opening that would have been even darker than Netflix’s Marvel TV series. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has gone through many changes since its beginning in 2008 with the movie Iron Man, expanding to TV on different occasions before successfully bringing together its film and TV sides with its Disney+ TV shows. An interesting part of the MCU’s history is Marvel’s Netflix TV shows, which were a lot darker and more mature than the movies the MCU was producing at the time.

Netflix’s Marvel TV shows brought Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist to life, and while not all of their TV shows were a success, they all had a darker tone than the MCU’s movies and thus appealed to a different part of Marvel’s audience. The MCU has a long list of unmade projects – both movies and TV shows –, among them one TV show that, had it been made, not only would have changed part of the MCU’s Multiverse Saga but also would have pushed this universe’s boundaries, with an opening scene that would have been even darker and more disturbing than anything Netflix’s Marvel TV shows did.

Eternals’ Show Opening Would’ve Been One Of Marvel’s Darkest On-Screen Scenes

druig in eternals

The MCU began to expand to TV in 2013 with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and it branched out to Netflix in 2015 with Daredevil. That same year, Marvel Television started working with screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) on a TV series for ABC that would “reinvent” an existing Marvel character or property, but it wasn’t revealed who it was about. The project never went past the stage of development and the Marvel characters it would have focused on weren’t revealed until now. In an interview with TVLine, Ridley finally shared what his Marvel TV show would have been about, and it was an Eternals TV series.

Ridley didn’t offer many details about what his Eternals TV show would have been like but described how the pilot would have started, and it would have gone a bit too far for Marvel’s standards, even more than what Netflix’s Marvel shows did. According to Ridley, the pilot of his Eternals TV show would have opened with a teenager holding a power drill, turning it on, putting it to his ear “and pushing in, and then it would have shown another kid “who has to sleep in the bathtub”. Ridley reiterated that his vision for the characters and the show was “a really weird story about these people”.

Netflix’s Marvel TV shows were more violent and graphic than the MCU’s movies, and they also addressed darker and more mature themes than haven’t been seen in the MCU’s film side, such as the abuse Jessica Jones went through during her time with Kilgrave. However, showing a teenage kid killing himself with a drill and another one in a situation of neglect (and most likely abuse, as well) would have been a lot darker, and it’s more disturbing as there’s no idea of the context behind these scenes, though it’s also possible that they could have been fake-outs.

Why Eternals Changed So Much From The Original Show

Earth's Eternals team in the MCU

Ridley emphasized that his version of Eternals was “good” and he doesn’t think that the MCU’s version was “particularly good”, but added that what’s entertaining to him is “often not populist”, so the best thing that happened to everyone was that his Eternals TV show didn’t happen. Chloé Zhao’s Eternals had a darker and more mature tone compared to the rest of the movies in the Multiverse Saga but wasn’t as shocking as Ridley’s vision (what’s known about it, at least). The MCU has changed a lot since Ridley’s project was in development, and Marvel knows well that there are lines it can’t cross in its TV shows and movies.

The Eternals are characters that can go on a darker route but can still fit with the rest of the MCU’s heroes, which wouldn’t have been possible had the movie followed the tone of the TV series. Unfortunately, Zhao’s version failed to connect with most of the audience due to how different it is from the rest of the MCU, but Ridley’s version probably wouldn’t have had a better reception.

Eternals Movie Poster


Release Date
November 5, 2021

Chloé Zhao

Angelina Jolie , Lia McHugh , Haaz Sleiman , Salma Hayek Pinault , Dong-seok Ma , Zain Al Rafeea , Harish Patel , Richard Madden , Brian Tyree Henry , Jashaun St. John , Lauren Ridloff , Kit Harington , Kumail Nanjiani , Ozer Ercan


157 minutes

Key Release Dates

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