There's got to be a healthy amount of respect when a studio head not only puts faith in a director to make a giant blockbuster tentpole, but asks her to do so while standing in the shadow of Avengers: Endgame, the biggest movie in the last decade and current record-holder for the highest-grossing film of all time. So it's not really much of a surprise that Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige has nothing but the most glowing of recommendations for Chloe Zhao, the filmmaker set to take on Eternals, which is getting back underway now after a filming delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a new interview, Feige enthused about Zhao, who will have to do what really only a few Marvel filmmakers have done before: build an identity for these characters in the public imagination. And he did so by evoking the names of some heavy hitters to make his point.
"Chloé will go toe to toe about Malick, or as esoteric and small a film as has ever been made, but also on Star Wars or on One-Punch Man in a way that is quite unique and quite spectacular," Feige told The Hollywood Reporter. "She would finish some giant production meeting with us that involved the creation and approval of dozens of costumes, creature design, intergalactic designs. And then she would get into her half solar power, half corn oil or whatever it was van, and drive out to the Dakotas for Nomadland. That she can fit in in all of these environments is remarkable."
The Eternals cast includes Richard Madden as the all-powerful Ikaris, Gemma Chan as humankind-loving Sersi, Kumail Nanjiani as the cosmic-powered Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as the super-fast Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as the intelligent inventor Phastos, Salma Hayak as the wise and spiritual leader Ajak, Lia McHugh as the eternally young, old-coul Sprite, Don Lee as the powerful Gilgamesh, Barry Keoghan as the aloof longer Druig, and Angelina Jolie as the fierce warrior Thena. Kit Harrington will also appear as Dane Whitman aka Black Knight.
Marvel's updated release schedule sees Black Widow dropping in theaters on November 6th. It is followed Eternals on February 12, 2021, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on May 5 2021, Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 on December 17, 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder on February 11, 2022, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on March 25, 2022, Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022, and Captain Marvel 2 on July 8, 2022. Disney+ also has The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, What If...? Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight on the way.