'Eternals' director Chloe Zhao says Marvel gave her total creative freedom
Eternals director Chloe Zhao has revealed she was able to “shoot exactly the way I wanted to shoot”, despite the mammoth scale of the Marvel blockbuster.
Zhao told The Hollywood Reporter she was able to mimic the approach of her smaller films — including The Rider and Nomadland — for her MCU debut.
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The director said she was able to do a lot of location shooting and utilise magic hour for her visual style, using the same camera rigs as she did for her previous work.
She said: “It’s a bit surreal. 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.”
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige said Zhao’s original pitch for the movie was “fascinating” and that the LGBT+ relationship in the film felt “inherent in the story”.
He added: “I think it is extremely well done, and I look forward to that level of inclusion in our future movies being less of a topic.”
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Zhao said she wanted to put together a cast of characters that “feels like a group of misfits”.
"I wanted it to reflect the world we live in," she added.
The director and studio have assembled an enviable roster of A-listers, including Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani and Kit Harington.
Brian Tyree Henry will portray Phastos — the first openly gay superhero in the MCU — while Lauren Ridloff will portray Makkari, becoming the first deaf hero in the money-spinning franchise.
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The Eternals are a race of powerful, immortal aliens who have secretly lived on Earth for thousands of years.
The movie sees them reunite and emerge from hiding in order to repel the Deviants — their malevolent counterparts.
Eternals had originally been due for release in November 2020 prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but it will now debut in February 2021.