Marvel's Eternals Director Fought For Specific Locations To Line Up With MCU Vision

By Richard Nebens Updated:
The Eternals, Chloe Zhao

The MCU is continually proving itself to be one of the most unique franchises in the business due to not only its interconnected storytelling but also how many adventures help build that interconnectivity. After all, this is very the saga that released the vastly different WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as back-to-back entries just to kick-off 2021.

This trend is continuing with Phase 4's movies as well with four widely contrasting entries coming in the last six months of the year, one of those being the highly-discussed Eternals in November. This movie is gaining so much hype six months before its theatrical debut that it's already being regarded as an early front-runner for the Best Picture award at the 2022 Oscars.

Much of this is due to newly-cemented Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao who was a recent topic of discussion in relation to her upcoming MCU outing...


Kevin Feige Eternals

In an interview with Variety, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige looked back to how Eternals director Chloé Zhao found herself in the lead position for the film.

Zhao was said to be a fan of the MCU and its comic origins, approaching Marvel Studios herself about the opportunity. She worked on a pitch with Marvel executive Nate Moore which Feige described as "spectacular," saying it was "a very bold and very ambitious, sprawling 7,000-year story of humanity and our place in the cosmos.”

The new Oscar-winner was also said to have been "really fighting for practical locations" to line up with her vision for the movie. 

Zhao even put together a sample reel to show the executives at Disney in which Feige had to reiterate that the footage was "right out of a camera" with "no VFX work to this at all."

Comparing it to Zhao's Nomadland, for which she won the 2021 Oscar for Best Director, Feige quickly realized that this was simply "a signature style" of shooting for the acclaimed director:

“And I had to keep saying, ‘This is right out of a camera; there’s no VFX work to this at all!’ Because it was a beautiful sunset, with perfect waves and mist coming up from the shore on this giant cliffside — really impressive stuff. Oh! That is not just what she wanted to bring to Marvel. This is a signature style.”


Eternals has seen more than its fair share of hype built up not only for its all-star team of cast members but for Zhao's unique vision to bring these immortal beings to the forefront of mainstream media. These quotes continue to show just how much energy Marvel Studios is putting in to make this movie one of the best outings in MCU history.

Zhao has often stated her desire to shoot as much real-life material as possible, even in a film with an insane amount of CGI and post-production work as those from Marvel Studios. From what fans have seen in leaked set photos that released a while ago, the director stayed true to her word by using some beautiful real-life locations for the film's setting.

Even though most of this movie's plot is still being kept under wraps, it's clear that Earth's pristine landscape will serve to make Eternals one of the most visually stunning films in Phase 4. Zhao is undoubtedly making her mark on the MCU long before her first movie arrives, and Kevin Feige appears to be right at the front of her fan club as Marvel Studios works to begin promoting this film in the near future.

Eternals will debut in theaters on November 5, 2021.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.