Director Chloe Zhao Reveals The Films That Inspired Eternals – Screen Rant

Oscar-winning filmmaker and director of Eternals Chloe Zhao reveals the films that inspired her entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The director of Eternals, Chloe Zhao, reveals the films that she drew inspiration from for her debut directorial feature in the MCU. The film boasts a tremendous cast that includes Game of Thrones alumni, Richard Madden and Kit Harington, along with Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, Gemma Chan and Barry Keoghan, to name a few. Eternals is Zhao’s first film at the helm following Nomadland, for which she won multiple Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture. It’s also the third film on the MCU Phase 4 roster and is set to release worldwide on November 5th.
The story revolves around the Eternals, an immortal alien race created thousands of years ago by the space gods known as the Celestials, as they are forced to emerge from hiding to take on their evil counterparts, the Deviants. The plot takes place after the events of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame where Thanos’ snap is reversed by Earth’s mightiest heroes. The reverse-snap, however, provides the energy to spark the creation of something called the “emergence,” which could endanger humanity and incinerate the planet.
Related: Marvel May Have Revealed Eternals’ Powers Origin
Zhao sat down with Fandango for an interview to discuss the upcoming MCU feature and talks about the films that she drew inspiration from. She mentions how she paid homage “to many films and filmmakers” that made a lasting impact on her for Eternals and joked about how it became “a fanfare” for her. She also expressed her thoughts on how she could “do a lot of things differently,” because of the “visual diversity” on show in the film. She continued to list some of the iconic movies that she watched with the Marvel team to find inspiration for the film. Read what Zhao said below:
“I would say I pay tribute to many films and filmmakers that had great influence on me in this movie. It becomes fanfare for me… I try to let them inspire me in different parts of the movie because the film is so diverse, visually. I could do a lot of different things. Particularly with the team at Marvel — our visual effects team, the action units, the design teams — we watched [Terrence] Malick films, particularly The Tree of Life and The New World. We watched The Revenant a lot, and Interstellar a lot. We watched Blade Runner 2049 and a film called Samsara. We watched that a lot. Obviously 2001: A Space Odyssey was very important, too. So, these were the films we had on repeat, and of course, there’s many other things in my life that I’ve watched that snuck into it.”
The list mentioned by Zhao is quite a spectacular one to choose from with the aforementioned films being from some of the best directors working today, which includes Christopher Nolan, Denis Villeneuve and Alejandro Gonzales Innaritu. The Chinese-born director also gave special mention to 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is no surprise, considering that the sci-fi film from the legendary Stanley Kubrick has continued to inspire and impact filmmakers for over half a century. It’s also worth noting that most of the films from the list are of the sci-fi genre, which would make sense because of the cosmic nature of the story.
Zhao, like many other directors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has been tasked with making an epic franchise blockbuster straight after producing and directing a low-budget feature. Though, it’s important to remember that the critical and eventual widespread success of Nomadland following its Oscar win is what helped her earn her place in the director’s chair for the upcoming Marvel tentpole. The fact that Zhao was also given complete creative freedom with the project will surely be a massive boost to fans of the original comics and casual cinemagoers alike and provide her with a chance to add her singular style and stamp to the MCU. Audiences will get a chance to catch Zhao’s highly anticipated Eternals when it releases in theaters next month.
Next: Why Eternals Needs To Be Longer Than Infinity War
Source: Fandango