Eternals Director Compares Movie To Coming of Age Film

Eternals finally hit theaters this weekend and saw Academy Award-winning director Chloé Zhao at the helm. Zhao previously revealed that another big movie of the last month had an impact on her, and that was Dune. The new film was directed by Denis Villeneuve who was nominated for an Oscar of his own back in 2017 for directing Arrival. While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about Eternals, Zhao compared the journey of Dune's Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) to Eternals' Sersi (Gemma Chan). Despite the fact that Paul is a young man and Sersi is thousands of years old, Zhao sees both of their stories as coming-of-age films.

"Yeah, and complicated power. Paul's journey is not just coming of age and now everything is fine. He's about to step into a very morally complex role, and so is Sersi, not to spoil the film. It is complicated. The type of hero she has to become is not that black and white in terms of morals," Zhao explained.

"I gotta say that I'm a big fan of Denis; he's a friend," Zhao revealed earlier in the interview. "We got pushed and shifted because of the pandemic. We got pulled apart and now we're back together again at the same time. Even when I was working on IMAX for Eternals, I asked him if it was okay for me to watch Dune. I knew he did incredible things in IMAX, so I knew I could learn from him. He was so generous; he was like, 'Yes.' He also gave me other references to look at. So I actually find a lot of strength in our films coming out at the same time and to have a colleague who I respect and love and to be able to go through this together and to hug each other at Venice [International Film Festival] when Dune came out. He even sent me a message last night, so it all feels very empowering."

In addition to Chan, Eternals stars Angelina Jolie as Thena, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Barry Keoghan as Druig, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Salma Hayek as Ajak, and Kit Harington as Dane Whitman.

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Eternals is now playing in theaters. Dune is also playing in theaters and is available to watch on HBO Max.