Chloé Zhao’s Pitch Best Feige’s EVER Heard
Marvel Studios Head Kevin Feige says that director Chloé Zhao’s pitch for Eternals was the best pitch he’s ever heard – and it’s probably safe to assume that he’s heard A WHOLE LOTTA pitches, so my guess is that it was a really, really, really good one! Will Feige’s faith in Zhao’s immense talent mean that Eternals will put the young director on the map as a blockbuster filmmaker so early in her career? Maybe!
Feige Loved Chloé Zhao’s Vision of Eternals
The latest information comes from a Rolling Stone article that profiles filmmaker Zhao, who also directed Nomadland. According to the profile, which also touched base with Feige, the director’s pitch for the upcoming MCU movie perfectly fit the studio’s vision for what they hoped to accomplish with Eternals.
Feige explained that the filmmaker’s brand of keeping the story grounded in small, intimate experiences while still maintaining an expansive, cosmic feeling is perfect for the MCU’s type of storytelling. The Marvel Boss said:
Not only does Chloe make remarkable, small, personal movies in a remarkable, small, personal way, but she thinks in grand, cosmic, gigantic terms, which fit perfectly with what we wanted to do. Eternals is a very big, sweeping, multi-millennial-spanning story. And she just got it.
Although Eternals is much larger than any project the director has tackled before, she stuck to her tried-and-true approaches to make the film – for example, Zhao used “conversations with her actors” to explore the complexities of human emotion and experience and imbue the movie with humanity.
First Openly Gay Hero in Eternals
Eternals is one of the movies in the highly-anticipated MCU Phase Four, which officially kicked off with WandaVision on Disney+. Although Eternals hasn’t hit theaters yet, it has already made news, with the promise that it will feature the MCU’s first openly gay superhero (romance), in part played by Jack Ryan star Haaz Sleiman.
It’s my first Marvel film, so of course I’m excited. My gut feeling is you’ll be so proud. What Marvel has been able to accomplish, I’m so proud of them because they approached it in a very thoughtful way, and Phastos is one of the biggest superheroes in the film. I’m his husband, an architect; we have a child. Even though I wished I was the superhero, because when will we see an Arab Muslim openly gay actor playing a superhero? I can’t wait to see it.
Sleiman’s words come at a time when representation in media is becoming increasingly important. Although it seems like Sleiman has a supporting role in Eternals, hearing he is proud of his part in the film seems like a push in the right direction for Marvel – and maybe Zhao, whose work amplifies marginalized voices, had something to do with it.
Eternals COVID-19 Related Release Delay
Despite production delays on other MCU projects, Eternals wrapped in February 2020, so Feige and the special effects department was able to keep working throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic thanks to remote work options. However, because of pandemic movie theater closures, the film’s release was still interrupted due to COVID-19, and everything has been very hush, hush.
The Eternals ensemble is filled with some of Hollywood’s top talent who will be dressed to the nines. Eternals features Gemma Chan as Sersi, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Barry Keoghan as Druig, Richard Madden as Ikaris, and Kit Harington as Dane Whitman.
If some of those actor names look familiar to Marvel fans, that’s not a surprise! Chan, who is playing Sersi in Eternals, previously appeared as Doctor Minerva in 2019’s Captain Marvel. Meanwhile, Henry, who is playing Phastos, is likely to sound pretty familiar to fans of 2019’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, in which Henry lent his voice to the role of Jefferson Davis, the police officer father of Miles Morales, A.K.A. Spider-Man!
Which one of the Eternals are you most looking forward to seeing on the big screen?