Eternals: The Apostasy Edit

Updated
eternalsapostasy_front
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2021
Original Running Time:
156
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
142
Time Cut:
14
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Available in HD?
Available in 4K?
Brief Synopsis:
This edit focuses the narrative on the renunciation, criticism, and eventual opposition to the goals of their god Arishem. IMO this movie was a metaphor for the different ways of questioning authority - misguided soldiers, missionaries, colonizers, etc… these basic concepts are I wanted to elevate.

Using Pink Floyd's "Time" as a jumping off point, this edit also includes new songs from Pearl Jam, Massive Attack, Tool, and the Alan Parson's Project.
Intention:
I was underwhelmed by the original release of this movie. I didn’t hate it, but nothing in it made me actually get INTERESTED. It all just felt… fine. I just never really “felt” for the characters. I mostly wrote the movie off, but after a failed experiment trying to remove the third act all together, I started to care more about the characters while I was playing around, and started to see more of the ‘turning from religion’ similarities. So my first official fanedit dip into the MCU was born.
Additional Notes:
I also have been doing a little researching, and came across this reddit post by someone who also noticed the "missionary" parallels that expresses a sentiment I love: What I didn’t expect was that the film would lean into the idea of Eternals as missionaries. Not the kind of missionaries that we see today, but something from a century or two ago. Small groups of fervent followers of some offshoot sect huddled in meeting in small rooms a la something out of The Master, or settling across the frontier spreading the gospel, bound by a common dogma and spiritual zeal. In that environment, the religious group becomes a sort of extended family, with generations, divisions of labor, relationships, and expectations, both of oneself and others. The Eternals present as one of these ‘missionary families’ and I think the movie does a good job of illustrating the sense of loss and disorientation that happens once that religious mission has no meaning. Ajak is at the top of this family, the spiritual leader who holds the complete faith of her disciples and her directives hold the weight of God itself. (...) All of the personality traits, relationship roles and expectations that the Eternals have ever known have been tightly connected to their faith in Arishem and the mission that he gave them through Ajak. Now that that’s over, who are these people? Who are they to each other? What are they supposed to be doing? Ajak gives the directive to ‘go out and live your lives (I’m paraphrasing)’ but would any of us know what that means if all we had known is one life, one faith, and one mission? The looks on the faces of the rest of the Eternals seems to betray this sense of dislocation and disassociation. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mainstream superhero movie take something like that on, particularly in a way that provides such murky answers. Three of the characters die in the process, one disappears before the big battle, and in the end the group splits. (...) That’s heady stuff, and to me, it’s what makes Eternals such a fascinating movie.
Special Thanks:
Lapis Molari for the inspiration and motivation for a "Battle of the Eternals Edits", and Artisdead, SIUse, Addiesin, LifeInContext for great feedback and ideas!
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
I really wanted to highlight the stages of apostasy for many people, and through new section title cards and a more chronological scene order, I hope that is achieved. I am also reducing the Deviant plot significantly to reduce the scope of the narrative and keep it more focused.
Cuts and Additions:
Original introduction explanatory text removed, new production credits text added
Arishem’s explanation of the universe used as the intro, some shots slowed with Topaz for better pacing
Angelic chants added to Domo introduction
Removed Sersi first dialogue “It’s Beautiful”
Removed father putting obviously fake fish in a bag (he just killed it, and not even a wiggle)
Tightened up initial fight scene to remove lingering camera shots of Eternals (we’ll get to know them all soon enough)
Removed Ajax healing Icarus (for pacing)
Removed Ajax allowing Sersi to reach out to humans
Moved Babylon Scenes to right after Marvel Intro reel, continued Pink Floyd’s “Time” song
Added “575 BC Babylon” text to beginning of Babylon fight scene
Added more sound FX for Kingo’s fireball shots.
Removed the original “575 BC Babylon” text with Topaz, added Eternals Title at same point
Added more angelic tones for Ajax’s scene with Arishem, and trimmed the dialogue a tiny bit to remove the “status update.”
Added “Stage One - Truth” title card to transition from Ajax and Arishem to The Domo
Added a guitar cover of “Clair de Lune” for the scene inside the Domo when Phastos introduces the steam engine.
Moved up some shots of Icarus and Sersi flirting before Icarus asks Ajax for permission
added score "The Epic Of Gilgamesh In Sumerian" flowing from Sersi and Ikaris flirting into the party scene, leaving only the admission of feelings until after.
removed Ajax telling Icarus to admit his feelings to Sersi
Removed “I am beautiful” translation error interaction between Icarus and Sersi” and her gift of the rock, and removed their sex scene. (Hopefully implying their love grows slower)
Moved Tenochtitlan scenes to right after the wedding
new title card “Stage Two - Doubt” added to Tenochtitlan scene introduction
Tenochtitlan scenes brightened
Recut scene with Gilgamesh assuming responsibility for Athena after Ajax tells the rest of the Eternals to go live their own lives (for better pacing and easier transition to modern times.)
Moved Present Day London Scenes to after Tenochtitlan scene
used Pearl Jam’s “Release Me” as the transition music to Present Day London
added “Stage Three - Growth” title card to London introduction
Added Massive Attack’s Angel intro beats to Deviants first London intro with the bum and his dog
Slightly tightened when a Deviant first spots Sersi, Sprite and Dane (for pacing)
Added Massive Attack’s “Angel” to London Deviant encounter
Trimmed Sersi and Sprite jumping up to bridge level a little bit
Removed Sersi turning bus into flower petals
Added laser eyes to Ikaris exiting damaged shop
Used Topaz to enlarge and recross shot of Dane, Sersi and Sprite regrouping after Ikaris’s arrival
Removed Dane introducing himself to Icarus, cuts straight to “Well, I guess you must be the pilot.”
London scenes followed by South Dakota
“Stage Four - Questions” title card to present day South Dakota
South Dakota present day scenes brightened
South Dakota’s “Present Day” text removed with Topaz and After Effects
Added Angelic death song theme to Ajax’s death
Trimmed out Ikaris insinuating that Sersi’s interaction with Arishem was just mahd wy'ry
South Dakota scenes followed by Mumbai
Mumbi “Present Day” text removed with Topaz Upscaling to crop out text, and added "Mumbai" back in
Some Mumbi scenes brightened
Removed on plane Sersi’s mention she changes rocks into wood (too close to turning a deviant into a tree)
Sersi and Arishem scene tightened, universe origin removed from here and moved to intro
trimmed some of Arishem’s exposition to Sersi
Added “Stage Five - Answers” card after Arishem’s revelation
Kingo’s mention about memories trimmed out of candlelit scene
Dane trying to call Sersi the first time in the Amazon removed
Amazon scenes after Druig church room discussion brightened
Amazon fight scene with Deviants rescored with Tool’s “Schism” until Sersi turns a Deviant into a tree
Amazon fight scene re-edited for pacing, Kingo and Sprite against a deviant now comes before Sersi and Druig's followers sequence
Trimmed Sprite saying "Young Man" to Karun
Trimmed Sprite's time stabbing the Deviant, and removed Kingo's "Dashoom" line for better pacing
Trimmed Druig telling his followers to head to the caves
Enhanced scoring for Gilgamesh’s fight with the Deviant when saving Thena
Removed any of Gilgamesh’s dialogue after the Deviant sinks the power-sucking tentacles (to match Ajax’s quick death)
Deviant dialogue removed from Amazon scene when it evolves
Angelic death song theme added to Gilgamesh’s death after fight
Removed Sersi looking at Icarus during funeral shots
Removed Sersi discussing Deviant consciousness with Druig
Added Japanese music during Hiroshima flashback
Removed Phastos saying he was the cause of the atom bomb, instead just being disappointed by humans
Removed “Present Day” from Chicago intro scene by cropping and up scaling with Topaz
Trimmed “superman” reference in Chicago
Removed Ikea reference, added frames of hallway to extend Phastos’s reaction to the broken table
Added “Stage Six - Apostasy” title card as Eternals arrive in Iraq
Removed comment that Makkari disappeared for centuries
Removed Makkari and Kingo discussion about DVDs
Removed mention that Phastos was inspired by Deviants stealing their powers
Added deleted scene of Sprite and Makkari in Iraq, used Topaz to upscale to 4K, and enhanced audio from Stereo to 5.1
Trimmed Sersi and Icarus discussion in the canyon
Moved Ajax and Icarus flashback in South Dakota to after Sersi asks why Ajax didn’t choose Icarus to replace her
trimmed Ajax explaining why the changed her mind about humans
Removed Ajax and Ikaris walking in the Alaska forest
Trimmed Ikaris and Ajax dialogue in Alaska
removed Phastos working alone on the Unimind
Removed team suiting up in the Domo before final fight
Removed shot of Druig being buried by Icarus eyebeam
Removed Thena, Phastos and Sersi fighting debris
Tightened interaction of Sersi and Phastos before she takes off alone to Tiamut
Removed some parts of fight with Icarus
Removed most Deviant talking to Thena as she enters the cave, added line from Amazon here - “I will kill you all for what you have done to my kind”
Tightened dialogue with Deviant and Thena just before she kills it, removed her “I remember” line after (in favor of silent reflection)
Slightly reordered scenes when Thena leaves the cave
trimmed ikarus escaping Phastos’s chains
Reordered of shots of Icarus remembering times with Sersi, and removed Sersi initiating Ikaris to remember
removed Ikaris looking back at the earth before flying into the sun
Added “Stage Seven - Dawn” title card to South Dakota epilogue scene
Removed babysitting dialogue between Phastos and Thena
Removed Sersi berating Sprite about her phone addiction
Removed Kingo seeing Dane
Sersi and Danes dialogue about a giraffe removed.
Swapped shots of Eternals with Arishem so that we see Phastos first, then Kingo. Their eyes are whitened to seem like they are in robot mode, so Arishem is only talking to Sersi now.
Arishem’s dialogue to Sersi trimmed to be more threatening.
Dane’s reaction from the ground removed.
“To be continued” text added
Alan Parson's Project’s “Games People Play” song used for first half of credits.
Credits reordered and speed sometimes changed to better match the music
Removed Thena saying they need to go back to Earth.
Trailer 1


Trailer 2

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Having not seen the Theatrical Cut since its home release, The Eternals was a fine, mostly forgettable, movie. I saw promise in the movie and its premise but the pacing really threw me off. The Apostacy Edit makes this movie a leaner, meaner beast. The Very buried subtext of the movie becomes more textual, literally, with the chapter cards which makes the experience of watching these characters come to terms with their actions as missionaries or colonizers much more interesting and engaging. I'm not the brightest penny about symbolism and metaphors so when I can get a little bit of help in a classy and narrative enriching way, I'm more impressed.
The musical cues help lighten the tone for a movie that's more serious than the usual marvel fair. By serious, I mean the way the movie regularly makes reference to humanities violent urges. It even creates an interesting meta-juxtaposition with how we, the viewers, enjoy violence in the film.
This is a great edit for anyone that was lukewarm on the original and wants to give it a look with new eyes. The chronological order also makes it easier to follow and understand characters. A very strong recommendation!

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(Updated: September 17, 2022)
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Eternals was in it's original form an okay film. The biggest problems I had with it were the pacing, which made it at moments frustrating and the non-chronological structure of the story (also a teeny bit of the story). It works, but the new concepts and the way the story is presented don't give the movie any interesting alterations from the rest of the MCU catalogue.

So I am glad to say, that this edit turned one of my least favorite MCU films into one of my all-time favorites period. The chronological structure of the story made a lot more understandable and much less boring. The title cards managed to cut the movie into different, escalating parts of apostasy creating a new aspect to the story. And the added music is so awesome (ex. Pink Floyd), especially Alan Parsons Project's "Games People Play" in the credits.

Wakeupkeo, I don't think you made this movie less bad. You made a lot less bad! Thanks for making this idea come to life!

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(Updated: August 23, 2022)
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I think it's important to note the perspective I am coming at this from, I really, really enjoyed the theatrical cut of Eternals, my 4 biggest problems [besides the usual marvel stuff like bad color grading and bathos] were just the two deleted scenes (museum and the Iraq scene) that would have helped with character motivations immensely, the fact that the movie wasn't longer which simultaneously hurt the pacing and how dense the information being understood had to be, and that Kro's potential was kinda squandered by the end because he fell victim to the runtime. I wish the original was 3 hours or even longer but I still thought what we got was a 8.5-9/10. I've seen it 5 times already, it's one of the better mcu movies to me, absolutely, like top 15 for me, almost top 10, out of the 38 projects the mcu has released so far. So I was mostly coming at this to have a fresh perspective on the movie more than looking for something improving a bad movie. I already quite enjoyed what we got.

overall, I was absolutely pleasantly surprised! I thought it was quite good! a few little things here and there that kinda irked me but mostly for me I think it's definitely an improvement in some areas and slightly worse in others though that may just be my love for the orignal. but it definitely achieved what it wanted to! its a focused edit that focused on the Eternals' lives and understanding of their world and Arishem's plans. it improves the pacing in some regard by focusing on the eternals so that also helps clear up some of the pacing issues of the theatrical cut.

I took notes as I watched so here's a collection of thoughts on how well certain choices worked, general observations, some nitpicks based on my tastes and the like (watched v3.04):

I think the cuts in the scene between Ikaris and Sersi on the beach in Babylon feel a little weird and obviously the dialogue was cut out which is why they feel like that and Keo did the best with what they had to work with but I feel like the dialogue could have been retained to have more of a natural flow because I thought the original was pretty good but that's just me. plus keeping their flirting in would've given the viewer a stronger sense of connection to them. although I am entirely fine cutting the sex scene, that just looked so uncomfortable in the original anyway.

I also think the title card for stage 2 is a little misplaced. I think the title card should come when they look at the people firing in the woods like about a minute later because that's when their doubt really starts to grow. that's just me though. (also, using that font that looks like Greek letters for the title cards works for the aesthetic and that's why I'm mostly okay with them but some of them are just funny if you can read the letters like the font uses the symbol for 'phi' as a replacement for O's so the word just says 'grphiwth' or 'questiphins')

I do wish the museum deleted scene was added in, it was only slightly redundant for the theatrical cut and it really helped us understand where Sprite was coming from although it would be a little more redundant here since we know the people sprite is talking about, I think it could definitely work as sprite trying to reach out to humans and stuff. I think it's a sweet moment for her arc. but that's just me. I def understand why it wasn't added.

the music is a little loud in the London fight and I don't really think it fits too well when they're talking like I think it should have just either been very faint in the background and faded in or just actually started once the actual fighting started to make it feel like it fits better or just been a different song choice because the tone of the music and the dialogue is clashing.

I wish they'd cut out the "how long were you together" dialogue and the reply and just cut to 'well I guess that's long term' because the math on that line just does not add up like if he was asking how long the team was together that would be ~6,500 years (from 5000 BC to 1521 AD) and if he was asking how long Sersi and Icarus were together, that would be 2,500 years (575 BC to somewhere in the 1900s bc they apparently broke up a century before 2021). neither of those numbers are 5,000 years. bothered me in the theatrical cut too so it's not like it's an edit specific problem.

the cut to Sprite at 38:18 has a purple hue in the color grading that I think wasn't intended to be there (bc it immediately goes back to normal when we cut back to the others) and the color shift really threw me off. just a little thing.

I think for stage 5, either the title of the stage is incorrect or it is misplaced because we already got the answers, I don't understand the purpose of putting a stage card titled answers after we've already gotten the answers. If anything, Stage 5 is them figuring out what to do so Stage 5 isn't really answers. shouldn't it be titled something like 'decisions' or shouldn't the title card come on screen just as Sersi finally manages to talk to arishem with a stage six title card after the talk?

I wish they'd kept in Sprite saying "young man" to Karun during the amazon fight. I thought it was cute.

I know it takes some of the focus away from the eternals and it's easier to not think about the potential if you cut out all the potential potential but I do wish they'd kept in Kro saying "I can see what she saw" at least if not the rest of his speech tho I'm sure it was easier to edit around the whole thing. Also because later on when we hear Kro speak, yes it does work as a bit of a surprise, it catches off guard that he can speak but I think slightly setting it up would have made the moment feel more satisfying like I don't think you need to keep the whole speech in, particularly not the parts about how he wants to kill the Eternals bc you're cutting out somewhat wasted depth to focus on the point of the edit but I think you at least could've keep in that he can speak. it still works without it, it comes as a surprise in the final battle which is nice but I think a little setup could have been good. at least keeping in Sprite's line in London about how she almost heard Kro speak could have made the moment better. show how they can evolve just like humans, right? I think it still works as it is, absolutely, I just think having slightly more foreshadowing could have helped.

Also wish they'd kept in Jack and Ikaris talking about Superman and stuff when they got to Phastos's house although I suppose it was cut bc we never saw anyone recording the London fight so Jack couldn't have seen Ikaris. that or it wasn't funny to Keo. that's fine. it's just an exchange I liked.

While I think placing the 6 days ago flashback where it is right now makes structural sense, I think it kind of hurts the pacing like we were just digesting that he had betrayed us before we jumped into a flashback to find out why. I think putting it before the confrontation like it is in the original would have probably been a little better but this isn't bad, I think it just slightly messes with the pacing. that or putting it *after* the confrontation when he flies away, giving us context to understand the information after we've digested the twist.

making the last shot arishem teleporting away instead of confused Dane is a great choice! I've come to terms with the theatrical ending over time but this is definitely basically an objective improvement.

I think as a whole the fanedit definitely does what it sets out to accomplish, I think it's definitely better than the original in some parts tho like I said I enjoyed the original anyway so there are a few areas where I prefer the original. while moving the flashbacks all to the beginning works for the thematic structure of this edit, I think it definitely is a little too fast tho that's not really something that can be solved since this is all the footage they had to work with. wouldn't be possible to digest it slowly without making a mess of the narrative and thematic structure. although one thing i appreciate with this structure is how it highlights the relationships of the characters that usually took at least a second watch to properly appreciate. I appreciate cutting out the opening text crawl quite a bit, actually, was not really a fan of it in the original cut but I love the approach Keo took here. I think it's definitely worth watching whether you enjoyed the original or not.

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You just turned one of my favorite film of Phase 4 into one of favorite MCU film period. Loved the fact that you built the story chronologically by having the flashbacks at the beginning, that way we feel more invested with the characters. The adding of the titles cards describing each phase of the apostasy just adds weight to the overall story, that's the best change you made. And last but not least, the music is freaking awesome, Massive Attack and Tool are two of my favorite bands ever, hearing them in the action sequences with the deviants made me feel so freaking good. Thanks for sharing!

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I want to start off by saying that the intention for this edit is excellent, and many of the stated goals are reached. The narrative is great though sort of sudden to start due to a lack of scenes set in the past within the theatrical release itself, but there's not much that can be done there. What is done largely works, but I do have some issues that didn't make the edit "unwatchable" but leave it personally unsuitable as a replacement for the original cut.

As many have noted, there are some concerns with the audio. It was noticeable in some of the transitions as well as within the scenes where soundtracks are added. The transition from the rock song in the early battle leading to Ajak's communication with Arishem and the accompanying song there was jarring. Another scene that comes to mind in this regard is the one with Makari and Sprite talking, where there seemed to be some intermittent static. Maybe it's a personal thing, as well as something that goes against your vision for the edit, but I also just found the added music to mostly be distracting. Particularly at the start of the movie, but also throughout, it feels like there aren't any scenes that are allowed to be largely silent, dialogue aside. One very cool moment with the music, though, was when it cut off as Ikarus arrives to save Sersi, Sprite, and Dane.

Another very nice detail that was tied to some concerns I had was when it was the stage of apostesy, because I didn't much like the stages (partly due to the different font from the subs and the establishing text), but I absolutely loved the mapping that allowed Sprite to walk past the text. That looked excellent and deserves props. Even still, though, I feel that the stages might be better used in discussion of intention and outcomes rather than as a visual for the film itself. My final issue for the film, really, is the fade to white that was used in numerous transitions. It reminded me that the movie I was watching was a fan edit, rather than an edit -- if that makes sense.

The addition of some of the deleted scenes and the reorganization of the film's structure were great decisions. What absolutely worked for me was the prologue with Arishem's narration.. excellent. The only one I had any issue with was with the flashback to Ajak's death because of its placement feeling kind of odd, but the transition to Ikarus looking at Sersi was done very well.

Overall, I really appreciate your creativity and the work put into this edit. I have to default to the original, though, because the fact that it is an edit feels noticeable in a few ways that leave me a bit dissatisfied. However, I wholly recommend this edit so that the approach you took to editing Eternals can be seen, because it still resulted in a better overall narrative in comparison to the original release.

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