With Eternals, Marvel Studios has what many observers have speculated is their riskiest new property since Guardians of the Galaxy. Of course, Guardians worked out pretty well for the studio, which has gone more than a decade without a theatrical misfire, so it's likely Eternals -- something that Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige recently said was the best pitch he'd ever heard -- will do just fine as well. Still, writer/director Chloe Zhao knows that there are high expectations when you work for Marvel, and that her project -- sweeping in scope, with a huge budget and huge stars -- is not going to be exactly what fans expect from a Marvel superhero movie.
So far, the cast involved with the film have praised its direction, and Zhao has given Marvel a lot of credit for allowing her to shoot on location. That kind of thing can lead to some unplanned leaks, but also gives the movie a different look than something shot on a green screen.
"This is so boring you are going to roll your eyes, but I think Marvel...I think they took a big risk with this one," Zhao told SiriusXM's Jess Cagle (via Digital Spy) about the project, adding, "I think they're going to surprise you. I hope so."
Recently, Zhao spoke about penning the movie's script in addition to directing.
"I am the writer on the Eternals, the credits just aren't updated yet," Zhao recently said while promoting Nomadland. "I don't know what it would be like if I don't write the films [I direct]... In the writing process is where I bring in my sensibility, that's a huge part of it. I'm creating situations that will allow certain cinematic language to come in that I've learned on my last three films."
"I have been a fan of the MCU for the last decade. So, I put the word out there I wanted to make a Marvel movie and the right project came to me," Zhao said while speaking with director Barry Jenkins in a discussion for Variety. "I just wanted to work with that team. Again, back to world-building. It is my favorite thing. That's why I love 'Star Wars.' There is a world that is so rich. I wanted to enter it and see what I can do. It's the same as what you're saying. Can I put a spin on it while still being true to the essence of it? That's exciting to me. It's not that different than me going to the world of rodeo cowboys and saying, 'My spin on that is going to be this,' and it's a collaboration. The chemistry of that, when it's right, it could be very exciting."
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Eternals is currently scheduled to hit on theatres on November 5th.