How far has 'Eternals' progressed? Chloe Zhao, Kevin Feige reveal
Chloe Zhao is the flavor of the season! Having just won two major Academy Awards—Best Picture and Best Director—for Nomadland, Zhao is now traveling on the MCU bus. She is helming Eternals, the production of which is in the "final stretch," she says. The superhero film is the 26th film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and is a part of Phase 4.
The upcoming movie is based on Jack Kirby's 1976 comic series that is about an immortal alien race. Zhao, who is bringing Kirby's masterpiece to life, said, "Jack Kirby and his imagination, his incredible work, is really the foundation of it. On top of that, there is what Marvel Studios has built, this incredible journey they have going on."
It all started in 2018 when Zhao, a Marvel fan herself, approached the studio. MCU President Kevin Feige wanted her to direct Black Widow, but she declined. Feige has been working on Eternals for years, and Zhao was hired to helm the project. He described Eternals as "a very bold and very ambitious, sprawling 7,000-year story of humanity and our place in the cosmos."
"We only want to keep doing this so that we can keep evolving it and changing it and growing it, and doing things we hadn't done before," Feige told Variety. "And that's what many filmmakers like Chloe for. Not just for Marvel, by the way, but for the business — and for the theatrical business, and for the quote unquote 'blockbuster business,'" he added.
Eternals' story takes place in 1976 when they made their comic book debut. They are super-powered aliens created by the powerful Celestials, and also find a mention in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. And of course, these powerful Celestials create a rival race called the Deviants. The story revolves around how the Eternals reunite and fight against their mutating rivals.
The ensemble cast includes A-listers like Angelina Jolie (Thena), Kit Harrington (Dane Whitman), Richard Madden (Ikaris), Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, Gemma Chan, Brian Tyree Henry, and Ma Dong-seok. Eternals is set to hit theaters on November 5, 2021. Notably, the filming for the same got finished last February, much before the pandemic broke out, as was confirmed by Chan, who plays Sersi, an empathetic Eternal.