How do you put together an MCU movie that stretches from thousands of years in the past to the present-day with an ensemble cast of diverse, unique heroes that have never before been seen on-screen?
That’s the task entrusted to Eternals (opens in new tab) director Chloe Zhao, who has hinted that she has big, ambitious plans for the Marvel Phase 4 (opens in new tab) movie – even surpassing the scope of Avengers: Endgame (opens in new tab).
"How much further and bigger can we go after [Avengers:] Endgame?" asked Zhao during a THR (opens in new tab) interview, before adding. "Because I’m not just making the film as a director. I’m making the film as a fan."
It’s hard not to think of millennia-old immortal heroes being able to outdo some of what we saw in Avengers: Endgame in terms of big set-pieces and special effects. For Zhao, though, her filming process remained surprisingly similar to her other work, which includes critically acclaimed film The Rider and the upcoming Nomandland.
"I shot exactly the way I wanted to shoot. On location. A lot of magic hour… Same rigs. It’s a bit surreal,” she said of filming Eternals, which is due out on February 12, 2021. “I’m still waiting for the shoe to drop. It hasn’t. I think I got lucky in that Marvel wants to take risks and do something different."
While the comparisons to Endgame will undoubtedly raise eyebrows, it’s the r-word – risk – that should perhaps be most important.
The MCU excels when it’s selling a unique, creator-led vision (think Black Panther (opens in new tab) and Thor: Ragnarok (opens in new tab)) – and, if Zhao’s words ring true, Eternals could be out of this world.
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