Eternals Star Says The Movie Bombed Because Marvel Fans Weren’t Ready

Barry Keoghan says he thinks Eternals didn't do as well as other Marvel films because it was a type of movie that was "new to the Marvel world."

By Michileen Martin | Published

barry keoghan eternals

Barry Keoghan seems to think that if you’re one of the many critics or fans who weren’t fond of Eternals, the problem is that director Chloe Zhao‘s vision was just a little too “different.” Speaking to Josh Horowitz recently on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the Irish actor said the movie Zhao delivered was “new to the Marvel world,” presumably crediting that newness for the poor reactions from fans.

While the film did relatively well at the box office, earning $402 million, it underperformed compared to other Marvel blockbusters. In spite of Marvel Studios’ failed Oscar campaign for the film across all categories, including trying to get Barry Keoghan nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Eternals, critics tore the film to pieces, leaving it with the surprisingly low 47% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes. Not only is that the lowest score of any MCU movie to date, but Eternals remains the only MCU film to get the dreaded green splat.

According to Barry Keoghan, it all has more to do with fans and critics not being used to what they were seeing.

“I think Chloe [Zhao] brought a whole kind of feel to it. You know? So Chloe brings – as you’ve seen from her past films – raw performances and really, really touching performances. I don’t think it was… I think it was new. I think it was just new. It was new for the Marvel world.”

-Barry Keoghan

Barry Keoghan has a point about Eternals; it was something new, but it’s hard to deny there were plenty of valid criticisms leveled against the film. At a little over two and a half hours, it was a long film that felt even longer. It also had the poor luck of being saddled with perhaps the least impressive villain of the MCU — Warlord Kro, voiced by Bill Skarsgård.

barry koeghan eternals
Barry Keoghan in Eternals (2021)

There is still a big question as to whether or not we’ll see Barry Keoghan and the rest of the cast back for Eternals 2. The first film ends on a big cliffhanger, but at the same time it isn’t clear that there’s enough interest for a sequel. Of course, there are plenty of other options for the characters to make their way back to the larger narrative.

For his part, Barry Keoghan told Horowitz he’s “optimistic” we’ll see his Eternals character Druig again and even hinted producer Victoria Alonso had recently made some assurances to him on that score. Even if we never see an Eternals 2, there’s always the possibility of the characters popping up in upcoming event films like 2026’s Avengers: Secret Wars. Then there’s always the possibility that arguably would’ve worked better in the first place: telling the story of the Eternals in a Disney+ series rather than in a film.

Nothing goes over your head.

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