Marvel Studios has slowly been expanding its catalog of cosmic storytelling, which started in Phases 1 and 2 with outings like 2011's Thor and 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. Most recently, Chloé Zhao's Eternals added its own story into this cosmic legacy with the addition of a dozen new players, also delivering exciting teases for the future through its pair of post-credits scenes.
The first of those scenes introduced the MCU fandom to Harry Styles in his debut as Eros, also known as Starfox, or the brother of Josh Brolin's Thanos from the Infinity Saga. Seeing the well-known Eternal playboy enter the fray alongside Patton Oswalt's Pip the Troll sent fans into a frenzy thinking about everything this new and mysterious character could add to the MCU narrative.
Chloé Zhao has opened up in recent weeks about her process and inspiration behind some of Eternals' biggest moments, including Eros' debut. From sharing how she differentiated Richard Madden's Ikaris from DC's Superman to teasing the implications of Kit Harington's run as the Black Knight, the director is giving fans a behind-the-scenes look into how this cosmic epic came to be.
As a part of the recently released director's commentary, Zhao opened up on one specific inspiration that came directly from one of Eternals' space-based predecessors.
Eternals' Inspiration from Guardians of the Galaxy
In the recently released Eternals Audio Commentary, director Chloé Zhao explained how 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy influenced the post-credits scene featuring Harry Styles' Eros.
Speaking with production visual effects supervisor Stephane Cerreti, who held the same position on the Guardians movie, Zhao referenced shots that featured both Chris Pratt's Star-Lord and Bradley Cooper's Rocket Raccoon.
The director addressed how the top of Rocket's head can be seen in shots with the much taller Peter Quill, leading Ceretti to comment on how he likes keeping "a snippet of the other character that is smaller" in the frame. It also helped in working out how to shoot the scene and make sure both characters were in frame.
Chloé Zhao: "Well, what you did in Guardians, I remember, what was so great is that you always see the head of Rocket in the shot, you always see his ears and stuff. And so this, the way we..."
Stephane Ceretti: "The way we looked at those [shots], whenever you have two characters that have a size difference like that, I think it's cool to keep a little bit of a snippet of the other character that is smaller. And it just makes it more natural, too, because you shoot it this way.
Zhao utilized this technique along with Ceretti to keep both Harry Styles' Eros and Patton Oswalt's Pip the Troll in frame together during the mid-credits scene from 2021's Eternals. The two have a similar height difference to that of Star-Lord and Rocket, and Ceretti's experience on Guardians helped to make the new scene look the way it did in Eternals.
Tall and Small in Eternals and Guardians
Some parts of filmmaking bring their own unique challenges, such as working out how to bring characters of vastly different sizes into the same scene together. As it turns out, Eternals had the benefit of having someone with that kind of experience in Ceretti after his work putting Rocket Raccoon into scenes alongside Peter Quill.
Although the pairs of characters likely aren't exactly the same heights, this method of shooting helped to give some perspective to how Pip the Troll came into play alongside the much taller Eros. While this isn't the first time Marvel has shown off this kind of dynamic, the team behind Eternals was fortunate to have both Guardians of the Galaxy films with such similar material, especially for such an important post-credits scene.
With Rocket having spent so much time on screen with Star-Lord and other tall MCU heroes in his four appearances to date, Ceretti and Zhao had countless scenes to look back on as they made sure Eros and Pip looked the way they needed to in Eternals. That dynamic will likely be referenced again in the future wherever this new duo may return down the road as well.
Eternals and both Guardians of the Galaxy movies are now streaming on Disney+.