Warning! This post contains spoilers for Eternal
Screenwriters Kaz and Ryan Firpo have revealed that Gilgamesh (Don Lee) was originally intended to be Kingo’s (Kumail Nanjiani) valet at Marvel Studios. Eternal, not the very popular new character Karun (Harish Patel). Eternal recently released in theaters, being the 26th entry in the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie is actually the MCU’s lowest-rated movie yet, but its lowest critical score doesn’t match its pretty high audience score. It opened to $ 162 million worldwide in its opening weekend, helping Marvel Studios establish itself as one of the top performing studios during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
During the opening weekend of Eternal, Karun’s popularity apparently exploded. In the film, he is Kingo’s valet, who has become a high-profile Bollywood star. As the Eternals meet again during the course of the film, Karun follows them, filming as much as he can for Kingo, who wants to make a documentary about the immortal space team. On the other hand, Gilgamesh is the heavyweight of the team and is tasked with protecting Thena (Angelina Jolie) from her memory loss disease today.
Now, writers Kaz and Ryan Firpo have talked about the writing process of Eternal and the character of Kingo’s valet. In an interview with THR, the Firpos revealed that they had very different plans for Gilgamesh and Karun. These original ideas could have altered some of the characters’ stories and their roles in the plot. See their full comments below:
Firpo case: We have to give a big credit to Patrick Burleigh [the screenwriter who came in after the Firpos] For that. We had a version of them, and Patrick went crazy about it. It is another human substitute that you need on the journey. That [character] he was someone we played with as the director of all his films. Once upon a time Gilgamesh [Don Lee] I was dating Kingo. They worked together. Then there was a similar dynamic.
Ryan Firpo: When we had 12 characters, Gilgamash was not paired with Thena. He was Kingo’s valet, so he was essentially that character, but like Gilgamesh.
Having Gilgamesh as a valet would have detracted from the plot of Thena’s illness. His memory loss is such an important aspect of his character, and Gilgamesh is by his side all the time from inception until his death. He has many important moments with her throughout his screen time, such as taking her away when the Eternals part ways to care for her. Furthermore, he knows that he would be the only one who could stop her when she attacks. While Gilgamesh could certainly have had great moments of character as Kingo’s valet, he was given a lot to do emotionally for the film by being Thena’s tutor.
Karun’s role in the plot is also important for Eternal. While it doesn’t have a direct impact on the team’s goals, it does bring a level of humanity. Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman also gives a glimpse of this, showing how human characters are so important to the Eternals’ story. The film largely explores the idea of gods living among humans, and Karun’s role serves this purpose to a great extent.
Next: Why doesn’t Arishem the Celestial take all the Eternals at the end?
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