"I gotta say that I’m a big fan of Denis; he’s a friend," Zhao told The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab). "We got pushed and shifted because of the pandemic. We got pulled apart and now we’re back together again at the same time," referring to both movies' delayed release dates.
"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."
Oscar-winner Zhao's foray into the MCU features an all-star cast including Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, and Kit Harington. Eternals follows a group of ancient aliens who’ve been living secretly on earth for millennia, and the movie also introduces a new threat, The Deviants, who the titular gang is responsible for protecting humanity from.
Eternals arrives on the big screen on November 5. Before you head to a theater, make sure you're up to date with the MCU with our guide to Marvel Phase 4.