Despite Eternals receiving bad reviews from fans and critics, a past report revealed that a sequel is in the early stages of development, with the project reportedly being added to Marvel Studios' production calendar.
Moreover, a previous listing may have indicated the sequel's filming plans soon since the management agency of Gilgamesh actor Ma Dong-seok (Don Lee) revealed that Eternals 2 is "planned to be produced."
Eternals Director Responds to Sequel Question
THR: "...There have been rumors about Eternals 2 for a little while now, is that something you’re still interested in pursuing?"
Zhao shared a blunt reaction to the question, with her only saying, "no comment."
It does not seem like Eternals' mixed reviews would deter Zhao from helping a sequel. The award-winning director admitted that "it's almost impossible to make everybody happy" and that Eternals' criticisms were inevitable after being asked if she become frustrated by the audience reaction:
"When you’re in Marvel and when you’re dealing with an audience that big, I truly treasure and respect that each of us is so unique. It’s exciting that we’re all so different, and we’re all changing and growing every day. But with a global audience, it’s almost impossible to make everybody perfectly happy, and to do that is to say that everyone is the same. So I think there’s inevitably going to be that [difference of opinion], and you just have to stay true to the kind of film you want to make and who you are and the people you’re collaborating with. That’s all you can do, really, and have a good time. Everything else is out of your control."
Zhao's remarks are in line with her past comments of high praise toward Marvel Studios, noting the "unlimited resources to make your imagination come true:"
“With smaller movies you may have freedom because in some ways you can do whatever you want, but when you wrap at three in the morning and then have to drive your cast home because they don’t have a form of transportation, there are limitations there, too. For a film this big, every movement you want to make, hundreds of people have to move with you. So decisions happen a bit slower. However, you also have unlimited resources to make your imagination come true, you can go to places, you have time, there are many other ways to have freedom.”
In a previous interview with The Playlist, Chloé Zhao also addressed the movie's sequel prospects, with her confirming that "[she] would be back in a second" while ending her response with a coy "we'll see."
Will Chloé Zhao Return to Direct Eternals 2?
Chloé Zhao's latest blunt response about returning to Eternals 2 could indicate that she's dodging Marvel snipers, as a "no comment" from someone typically means that they're involved in something but just not yet allowed to talk about it.
Still, the question remains whether or not Zhao would be willing to return for another round of directing an Eternals adventure despite the bad reviews.
Based on her comments, the Marvel director seems at peace with the negative reactions, and her willingness to come back is already apparent.
It's possible that returning to direct a sequel would serve as her redemption while also giving a lease of new life to the cosmic franchise.
Eternals is streaming on Disney+.