Hot off the major international success of her Oscar-winning debut feature film Nomadland, director Chloé Zhao is following it up by entering the mainstream with her step into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Having earned victory in both prestigious Academy Award categories for ‘Best Picture’ and ‘Best Director’, Zhao is moving in a new direction with her latest effort, the superhero movie titled Eternals.
Starring the likes of Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, and more, Eternals is said to focus on a group of “immortal aliens who have lived on Earth for over 7,000 years”.
Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Zhao’s film will be the 26th addition to Marvel Cinematic Universe. Having worked alongside Patrick Burleigh on the screenplay, Eternals will break new ground by becoming Marvel’s first depiction of an LGBTQ superhero.
“Jack Kirby and his imagination, his incredible work, is really the foundation of it,” Zhao said about the Marvel movie. “On top of that, there is what Marvel Studios has built, this incredible journey they have going on. And then on top of that is me as a fan of the MCU. And then, me as a fan of the genre, but also growing up with sci-fi and manga and fantasy films. And how can we have this big melting pot and cook up something that may just taste a little bit different? It was just an exciting thing; all of us went in wanting to do that.”
Salma Hayek, discussing the new project, told Variety: “It never crossed my mind to be in a Marvel movie. I guess that I thought that boat had sailed, and it was an absolute shock. All of a sudden, I got a call: ‘They want to talk to you about a new franchise.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ And I said OK, but they don’t tell you any information until you’re on the call. It’s kind of hard to be an action hero if you’re Mexican.
“It’s really hard to be an action hero if you’re a Mexican and a woman. But to be an action hero, being Mexican, a woman, and my age, it felt like they were punking me. And then the worst part is that I was one of the first people they cast. I had to keep my mouth shut for so many months. I couldn’t tell a soul. And I couldn’t wait for the day that I could say it.”
Eternals is scheduled to be released in the United States on November 5, 2021.
See the trailer, below.