With Marvel's Eternals starting to geet back into production in the coming weeks and months, filmmaker Chloe Zhao is back in the spotlight, talking with journalists this week about expectations for the film, while Marvel Studios honcho Kevin Feige praised the filmmaker's prowess and talked about the outsized ambition that the film represents. Following on the heels of Avengers: Endgame, it might seem bigger to do anything bigger and more ambitious -- but that's exactly what Zhao is shooting for, and that chutzpah is why Feige knew she was the right person for the job when she came in to pitch for Eternals.
During a new interview, Feige said that the plan for The Eternals -- a diverse and strange group of relatively unknown Marvel characters -- was to stand toe to toe with Endgame in terms of scope. Yeah, you're never going to match the highest-grossing movie of all time, which served as the culmination of more than a decade's worth of movies...but you have to at least feel that big, given the scope of The Eternals' story and origins. Eternals, Zhao said, is literally about the history of humanity.
"How much further and bigger can we go after [Avengers:] Endgame?" Zhao posed to The Hollywood Reporter. "Because I’m not just making the film as a director. I’m making the film as a fan."
"Her initial pitch to us was fascinating," Feige added. "And frankly one of the reasons we moved forward on the movie was because of the vision that she brought to it."
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.