In the comics, The Eternals have been around for thousands of years, observing the happenings of the human race and only getting involved to stop the deviants. A thousand years is a long time to wait before coming out of hiding and making themselves known to the world. A few thousand years is also how long it has felt to finally get some information on this movie. This wait was extended due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but it thankfully feels like it’s finally coming to an end. With a small glimpse of Eternals in a sizzle reel months ago and another small teaser trailer back in May, there has been nothing but silence from Marvel Studios about one of my most anticipated projects of 2021. However, between the promotional material for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (releasing soon on September 3rd!) and today’s first in-depth look at Eternals, we feast as if we were in Asgard. Tuck in your napkin and grab your forks, because we’re about to dive into what we know about the third film in the MCU to release this year.
Earlier today, Entertainment Weekly released an exclusive first look at Eternals with bits from Academy Award Winning director Chloé Zhao and the rest of the cast, along with ten stunning shots of the heroes in their “Eternals” garb. Right off the bat, Kevin Feige indicates that this movie was made for Zhao, because it wouldn’t have come to reality without her. He stated:
“The truth is, we would not have even attempted this if it weren’t for Chloé. We thought, here’s a filmmaker who is equal parts cinematic visionary and genre nerd. She can outtalk any of us when it comes to manga and Star Wars and Marvel comics. It’s quite an astounding combination. And this movie, I think, represents all of the immense multitudes of Chloé.”
That is incredibly high praise from the man who has spent over a decade spinning the greatest stories and cinematic universe currently present. Though it sounds like this project was not even on the radar for Marvel Studios until Zhao approached them about making it. As stated previously, Zhao came to Marvel with a vision and wanted to tell this epic story using techniques seen in her other films such as Nomadland and Songs My Brothers Taught Me. Her use of color, light and natural surroundings to tell compelling stories of her characters is one of the reasons that having her in the director chair is clearly a smart move. Though Zhao’s previous films are usually much smaller in scale, with budgets and stars well below the standard for Marvel Studios. However, that did not intimidate her and instead, the power behind her intimidated some of the stars.
Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, The Big Sick) who plays Kingo in the film said:
“She’s Just one of the greatest filmmakers ever, and she’s at the height of her powers right now. Working with someone like that, you’d think it’d be intimidating, but it was the opposite. I just felt very safe. I was like, Oh, she’s not going to let me suck at this.”
One can likely infer that the film was rather pleasant to work on, with director Zhao rightfully embedded as the heart and soul of the project. Making the star-studded cast at one with their characters seemed to be a goal for the director. In the process of making a character believable, it is apparent that authenticity was the aim for the director and all who were involved in the process of making the film.
Angelina Jolie portraying Thena told Entertainment Weekly that Zhao:
“Was pulling out of us something that was more personal, from a deeper side of ourselves. She wasn’t looking to put something on top of us, like a character. She was looking for us to reveal ourselves as the character.”
As for the collaborative approach to make the film, Zhao indicated that she was impressed with the changes and chances that Feige and the Marvel Studios team were willing to take. She stated that Marvel was excited and pushed for reimaginings of the characters and welcomed a diverse cast to represent the larger population of our world. However, inclusivity being important wasn’t the only goal the director had while making the movie. She wished to tell a story with characters who were compelling and showcase what’s under just the surface level.
“That really impressed me, how diverse the cast was [in early drafts]. Not just in terms of gender, race, age, but overall I could see the desire to reflect the world that we live in, as much as possible. That is great, but what was most important to me was actually to be able to tell a story and to craft character to be as individual as possible, and to really showcase what’s underneath the surface of what they look like and what they represent These are unique, flawed, and complicated individuals just like you and I. That’s what drew me to these actors. That’s what drew me to the story of each of the characters.”
It’ll be exciting for movie-goers to find a part of themselves within the cast and characters. It feels like it marks a true turning point for representation within the MCM. With a cast that meshes so well both on and off the screen, moviegoers are truly in for a special treat.
Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, and more break down their immortal characters. https://t.co/B0UtKTlfXr— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 18, 2021
Pictured in the above-linked tweet, we see the absolutely gorgeous portraits of our heroes in all their glory. Each portrait is elegantly portrayed in black and white, with majestic traces of gold that give the designs a shine as eternal as those wearing them. These look like some of the most artistic costumes we have been given so far in the MCM. This really amped up my excitement for this film from a nine, now past an eleven.
One final takeaway from the EW article is where were these Eternals during both legendary battles with Thanos? The short answer to that is that their mission has been and will always be to protect the world from the Deviants while staying out of the affairs of humans. Though something tells me that will all change after Eternals comes to theaters on November 5, 2021.
Source: Entertainment Weekly