As a longtime comics fan, Zhao’s vision for Eternals is deeply inspired by Jack Kirby’s work on the original comics source material. “Jack Kirby and his imagination, his incredible work, is really the foundation of it,” explained Zhao, which she layered with her own personal love of the genre. “On top of that, there is what Marvel Studios has built, this incredible journey they have going on. And then on top of that is me as a fan of the MCU. And then, me as a fan of the genre, but also growing up with sci-fi and manga and fantasy films. And how can we have this big melting pot and cook up something that may just taste a little bit different? It was just an exciting thing; all of us went in wanting to do that.”
Eternals will be Zhao’s first project of this blockbuster size and scope; however, she didn’t let that change her approach to filmmaking. “From early on, [Marvel] knew the way I wanted to make this film, how I wanted to shoot,” shared Zhao. “It can’t be hundreds of people standing around. They very much adapted how to run the set the way that I wanted to work. I’m still surrounded by 25 people.”
Zhao credits the team working around her, not taking sole ownership of the film as a singular vision. Zhao also specifically calls out editors Craig Wood and Dylan Tichenor for helping expand her repertoire as she now tackles post-production of the film. “It’s just been such an incredible experience working with the team at Marvel,” stated Zhao, “I want to be careful saying ‘my vision,’ even though I do want people to know they did support what I wanted to do. I want people to know that. But I also want to make sure they know that I got the support of this incredibly talented team, some of the most talented artists in the world. And it really is a village to make this film, but they did let me lead.”
Read Chloé Zhao’s full interview with Variety here!
Marvel Studios’ Eternals will make their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in theaters this November 5, 2021!
Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more details!