Eternals Will Have an Endgame Feel With Help From Chloe Zhao’s Love of Manga

Team Eternals at Comic-Con last year: Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, director Chloe Zhao, Lia McHugh, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Lauren Ridloff, and Don Lee. (Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
Team Eternals at Comic-Con last year: Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, director Chloe Zhao, Lia McHugh, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Lauren Ridloff, and Don Lee. (Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

When the world emerges from the pain and suffering of covid-19, there’s so much to look forward to, especially at the movies. For example, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be kicking up once again with the cosmic adventure Eternals from director Chloé Zhao. The film is currently scheduled for release February 12, 2021, and the director is hard at work getting it ready.

In the meantime, she’s also working on a second movie — Nomadland, a drama starring Frances McDormand — and during the promotion of that film Zhao spoke to the Hollywood Reporter about both projects. The trade also spoke to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige who said “frankly one of the reasons we moved forward on [Eternals] was because of the vision that [Zhao] brought to it.” What exactly was that vision? Manga.

“I have such deep, strong, manga roots,” Zhao said. “I brought some of that into Eternals. And I look forward to pushing more of that marriage of East and West.”

That marriage, Zhao thinks, could put Eternals on par — at least thematically — with the last big Marvel movie. “How much further and bigger can we go after Endgame?” Zhao asked. “Because I’m not just making the film as a director. I’m making the film as a fan.”

All kinds of fans are going to see themselves in Eternals which, while it won’t be as big as Avengers: Endgame, may feel like it due to its diverse, unique cast.

“I wanted it to reflect the world we live in,” Zhao said. “But also I wanted to put a cast together that feels like a group of misfits. I didn’t want the jocks. I want you to walk away at the end of the movie not thinking, ‘This person is this ethnicity, that person is that nationality.’ No. I want you to walk away thinking, ‘That’s a family.’ You don’t think about what they represent. You see them as individuals.”

There’s more in the piece about Zhao being given the freedom to shoot Eternals like she shot her indie, Eternalspreviously teased Bollywood number, and more. Head to THR to check it out.

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