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Marvel's Eternals: Chronological Cut

lapis molari

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Eternals: Chronological Cut is completed. :)
Watch the trailer on page 4 of this thread.


The ETERNALS (2021) blu-ray comes out on 15 Feb, so we'll soon be able to improve on Marvel's Eternals.

(TOTAL SPOILER!) STORY SUMMARY:
Arishem wants to protect his Celestial family. He built "Deviants", his version of Ultron, to protect baby Celestials that grow inside planets. Like Stark's version, these Ultrons turn out flawed. Arishem then builds "Eternals", his "Ultron mark II", to destroy his uncontrollable Mark I. After 7,000 years the Eternals find out what they are. Now they must choose to follow their programming or exercise free will.

MARVEL'S GOALS(?):
My read on Eternals is that it serves a similar purpose to all 2021 MCU projects: set up future storylines and connect them to past storylines. New Black Widow is Natasha's sister, Falcon grows into his responsibility for being the new Cap, new Hawkeye is a girl with crazy skills, and Kang's appearance opens up the whole multiverse.
Eternals sets up the creation of the Black Knight, possibly Sersi joining the Avengers like she did in the comics, it sets up Celestial interference with/on Earth which offers storylines with more powerful opponents than we've seen before (yea, isn't that what we all want, because bigger = better battles?), and it opens the door for a Marvel/DC crossover movie with its references to Superman and Batman. It achieves all this and has a female director, female non-white leads, a gay man, and a mute woman. Except for box-office revenue, I dare to guess that Eternals achieved most of its goals.

IDEAS FOR CHANGES:
1) Increase exposure and saturation. Make the lighting and color in line with the rest of the MCU. My projector came up short to present all the detail.

2) Reduce runtime from 150+ to <120 minutes, possible as short as ~100 minutes.

3) Arishem revealed his plan to Sersi like a Bond villain: for no good reason and putting the success of his plan at risk. Instead, the audience should find out Arishem's plan right at the start (perhaps we see Arishem talking to himself?), while the heroes find out at the original moment in the movie.
BUT Arishem doesn't tell Sersi, they find out through a "faulty" Thena memory flashback.
I hope this will generate sympathy/empathy in the viewer for our "heroes". We see them wanting to be better in the first part, but we know why they're unable to.

4) Show Ajak's death earlier, not through flashback.
It makes us hate Ikaris faster (which is better than being indifferent to him) and gives us the explanation faster why the Deviants have returned (defrosted).

5) Possibly cut the rust-free knife, plow, and steam-engine
to downplay the examples of Eternals interfering in human progress against their programming.

6) Possibly cut the final scene between Eternals and Arishem.
Instead, when he pulls them toward himself, we cut to the Domo ship where the other Eternals say "no contact for weeks". Then place Arishem's monologue (audio only) as final credits scene to make it more ominous.

My favorite characters in Eternals: Dane Whitman and Harun. I'd love to see Harun become the personal assistent at the Avengers Compound! Always prepared and polite like Edwin Jarvis in the comics, but funnier.


Alternate_Eternals_Film_Poster_releasedby_MarvelStudios.jpg
 
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You're awful quick on the draw. 😁😉

This makes three editors seeking to improve this movie, that I'm aware of but you're first to proclaim it publicly! Excited to see this development.
 
I really liked this movie more than some of the recent offerings from Marvel. I think it could be great. But alas, it suffered from Disney Marvelitis. I can't wait to see your cure. Count me in?
 
I really like parts of this movie. I think this can be improved to a similar degree as Iron Man 2. Though there I had more deleted scenes to work with. And fewer inconsistencies to fix.

I've pre-ordered the blu-ray and will prioritize this edit. I think a streamlined version of Eternals will be enjoyable before the 2022 MCU movies come out.

I expect that Marvel will release additional deleted scenes over time, which means this edit will likely get a Version 2 once that happens.

I found the subtitle, with thanks to Babylon 5's JMS, "Who Do You Serve?".
For the tagline I'm toying with "Erase, Reboot, Repeat. Evolve?"

"Who Do You Serve?" becomes the Tagline, because the subtitle will be "Chronological Cut". Not as sexy, but immediately clear. And improving clarity is a major goal of this edit.
 
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Will you be trimming away some of the intrusive "MCU humour" as well, Lapis? Some of us could do with a few less needless jokes. :)
 
Can you please cut the stupid pre-title text that explains eternals just for the movie to explain the movie as well within the first 15 minutes?
Yeah, that scroll was odd. Entirely unnecessary because, as you say, it all got explained anyway. Either way, I will do without scroll.

If I can get the dialog to work, then my opening scene will be Arishem explaining his grand plan to the viewer. I'll have to see if cutting Sersi from that exchange (changing the dialog into a monologue) will work. I'm hoping it will.

@motleycat Enterprises inc , I will trim some of the humor. There were a few jokes I thought were funny but dissonant from the narrative in that moment. The worst offender for me is the dropped pie joke.
 
I'm browsing through songs to figure out what mood I'd like to emphasize, and I haven't got it yet. I'm of two minds:

- Perspective 1: The Eternals are tragic heroes. This is a Greek play more than a bright-colored comic-book story.
- Perspective 2: The Eternals are family. For all the flaws they perceive in each other, they have formed the bond of family over thousands of years. When push comes to shove, they realize their bond.

I can't create new scenes, so I can't change the perspective too drastically. This is about setting my direction for editing decisions. Which of these angles do you find more interesting and why?
 
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I'm browsing through songs to figure out what mood I'd like to emphasize, and I haven't got it yet. I'm of two minds:

- Perspective 1: The Eternals are tragic heroes. This is a Greek play more than a bright-colored comic-book story.
- Perspective 2: The Eternals are family. For all the flaws they perceive in each other, they have formed the bond of family over thousands of years. When push comes to shove, they realize their bond.

I can't create new scenes, so I can't change the perspective too drastically. This is about setting my direction for editing decisions. Which of these angles do you find more interesting and why?
For me it’s perspective two, hence even those who are initially reluctant to leave their human familiar units (like Druig & Phastos) do so in the end.
 
The edit will open on Arishem telling the viewer his grand plan. Instead of a monologue to camera (is Arishem so perceptive that he realizes we're watching him? Nah, that'd be too meta), I think there's enough footage to mix Arishem's exposition and his chat with Ajak. Then we find out the grand plan together with Ajak (while the others remain in the dark).

After that opening scene, I'll test how the story plays if I make everything chronological. I'm not sure yet whether that'll make enough of an improvement.
 
It’s an interesting idea. After watching Eternals with a friend 5 weeks ago, we came to the conclusion, that it would also be an interesting approach to tell the story from Ikarus perspectiv because he‘s the one who struggles between love and duty.
 
That could make an interesting angle. It helps that his reactions to events aren't as muted as from the other Eternals. They're all so flat when they receive any shocking news.

But ..., I can't un-see Cavill's dour Superman in Ikaris. I keep wanting to CGI a moustache onto Ikaris' face. 😁

If I go down that road, I'll end up with an Eternals edit that opens with this music (the first 28 seconds of it):
 
I certainly can sympathize with this idea :D

Youtube works it’s magic (listening), i stumbled upon this video:
Ikaris

If they would only have done a film just about him and not all of them.
 
My blu-ray arrived yesterday, this thread is now moved from Ideas to In-The-Works. 🥳

A few notes on the disc:
- no clean center channel,
- the deleted scenes are the 4 that are also online,
- the bloopers aren't very interesting (for me, your mileage may vary of course),
- subtitles during Babylonian etc speech are not hard-coded (good!),
- image clarity is good but still dark (for an MCU film. The palette fits more easily in the DC line-up).
 
A few notes on the disc...

Thank you soo much for this Lapis. I wonder if we can make it common etiquette to list this sort of information on project threads, especially for new releases. Or perhaps a new thread could be made dedicated to a physical release breakdown. I appreciate that there is already a clean center channel thread but information about deleted scenes and hard coded subs could be really useful to share. I certainly will be adopting this moving forward.

Generally speaking, I'm looking forward to this edit. I have my own ideas for Eternals edit which, to my mind, is a much maligned film undeserving of its negative reputation. I bloody loved and it present so many possibilities for exciting edits. Good luck with this one.
 
I couldn't help myself. 😁

And no, this doesn't mean I'm gonna make a spoof edit of Eternals. I'm just seeing what happens if I push the story (too far) in certain directions, to help achieve a clear focus before I dive into editing.

Not%20Brand%20Echh%20poster%20v2.jpg
 
A different spoof poster: an advertisement for an island cruise to the Celestial Island in the Indian Ocean!
Brought to you by the same company that originated Wakanda Tours. 😊

Eternals%20spoof%20poster%20-%20Island%20Cruise.jpg
 
Made a playlist for Eternals:

Imagined as a COMEDY:
1 The Meaning of Life [Meet the Creator] - Monty Python
2 We are Family - Sister Sledge
3 Misirlou Twist [Party with the Natives] - Kronos Quartet
4 Come to my Island [Take a Cruise to Celestial Island] - K.C. & the Sunshine Band
5 Cosmos theme [Creation of Stars and Planets] - Vangelis

And as a TRAGEDY:
6 You Can’t Always Get What You Want - Rolling Stones
7 Family Business - Fish
8 True Colors - Cindy Lauper
9 Till the World Ends - Three Dog Night

Partial playlist is on Spotify (they didn't have all these songs).

Eternals%20CD%20cover%20(Arishem).jpg
 
There are many facets I haven't figured out yet for this edit, but I definitely want to open with Arishem explaining his "grand design". No Star Wars-y text scroll with misdirection, instead we get helpful exposition right at the start.

This opening blends Arishem's interactions with Ajak and Sersi (I removed Sersi, because as this point in the story only Ajak gets to be in-the-know). There are two transitions I want to get a bit smoother, I'll revisit those once I reach when the other Eternals find out their purpose. After I figure out how to structure that I may cut one or more lines from this opening.

After this opening our tragic heroes arrive in Mesopotamia. Then comes the Marvel logo.

 
The line "true purpose" sounds like there is already a "purpose" - but I think this opening with Arishem could definitely be 'massaged" into a great opening.
Possibly have Arishem speak to the audience at first, then reveal Ajax at the end of the monologue.

But love it!!
 
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