Every time Marvel Studios releases a new movie it is all anyone can talk about in that time between the final trailer and the release date. Eternals is currently that movie and the trend continues.
With a star-studded cast and a story that feels new and different, Eternals looks like the biggest first outing for a group of new heroes Marvel Studios has ever made. Academy Award-winner Chloe Zhao is behind the camera for a movie featuring every type of fame throughout the cast. There are comedians, hall of fame action stars, and not one, but two Game of Thrones cast members forming this team, and that means there are a lot of moving pieces.
Not only is Zhao tasked with building a story around a superteam of 10, but this is also a team of heroes that some Marvel Comics fans haven't even heard of. Introducing 10 unique and meaningful characters while also telling a compelling MCU-level story is a tall task. It is not just about locking down each individual hero, but also how this team interacts with one another.
Luckily, with such a stellar cast of pros, as Eternals has, Chloe Zhao was able to capitalize on the chemistry between the actors to bring to life exciting dynamics in the movie.
The Chemistry of Makkari and Druig
In the Eternals press conference, the cast was asked how the characters Makkari and Druig bond over their impatience with the world? Lauren Ridloff, who plays Makkari, talked about how she and Barry Keoghan's character bond because "they're mischievous".
"I think the relationship between Makkari and Druig really comes to a surprise for actually several people here on stage because within the script, it wasn't really something that was so apparent. But Chloe, under her brilliant direction, wanted us to imply that there was a lot more to Druig and Makkari. And I feel like that what actually brought them together is, like you said, they're both very impatient and they both have a lot of power. They're very powerful individuals and they're told to hold back, to hold themselves back. And I think that, for Druig and Makkari, they're mischievous, and they also have fun. They have this on this fabulous planet and their boss told them not to."
Director Chloe Zhao jumped in to touch on what drove her to push this chemistry between Ridloff and Keoghan to further develop their characters.
"Can I just also add, Lauren, I don't know if you remember, it was your first time meeting Barry [Keoghan], the two of you started this riff. You know, you started to improvize. And I go, 'Woah woah woah, what's happening?' Sparks [were] everywhere! Because initially, that was not the intention. I think really it was from you guys meeting that we felt that and go, 'Maybe we should play into it.'"
Eternals drops in theaters on November 5. The first reactions have been mostly positive, and this movie seems to be as big as any other MCU project. Having chemistry like this between the characters puts that Marvel heart into such a blockbuster.
The Power Of Love In Eternals
Despite a few trailer shots of Makkari and Druig embracing or smiling with one another, there was never a confirmation that these two were an item. This is what happens when two actors get on set together and there is a connection. It would be foolish not to utilize that bond, and Chloe Zhao is anything but foolish.
It was recently reported that at the center of Eternals is a love story. While the main focus will be on Gemma Chan's Sersi and Richard Madden's Ikaris, they are not the only characters who are bound at the heart.
Zhao's task is to introduce over a dozen different characters while also engaging in a story that spans thousands of years in a wide variety of locations. And she has to do this in well under 180 minutes. Being able to find these types of on-set chemistries between all of these actors is such a valuable tool for that task.
Screen time will determine which Eternals will be more or less important to the overall plot and narrative. But that does not mean that Ikaris, Sersi, Ajak, Thena are the only characters who need to work, despite their placement on promotional material.
Being able to take everyone on the team and give them their own personal arch and personality will make his section of the universe feel lived in, and this family feels real.
Makkari and Druig could easily play huge roles in the story, but even if they don't, their chemistry seems to be a highlight of the roles they will play. Lauren Ridloff and Barry Keoghan's off-screen connection and dynamic gave Zhao the spark to embed that into their characters.
It does not need to be obvious or overstated. But a sudden glance or a faint smile goes a long way in efficiently providing character depth in a movie that has so much going on at once.