Marvel's Eternals Director Addresses Claims About Studio-Controlled Scenes

By Klein Felt Posted:
Chloe Zhao, Marvel Eternals

The age of Eternals has commenced. The Chloe Zhao-directed epic hits theaters in a matter of days and anticipation is hitting a fever pitch.

Eternals has caught the eye of the movie-going world with its stunning visuals, blockbuster cast, and what is being touted as a deeper, more personal MCU story. While the Marvel Studios project is tackling something a bit unfamiliar for the franchise, it supposedly does tie very nicely into the greater canon. 

One of the best parts about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is getting to see different filmmakers provide their take on these revered superhero characters. Whether it is horror icon Sam Raimi taking on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness or the Oscar-winning Zhao bringing her pedigree to Eternals, there has been plenty of big-name directors who have taken a dip into the franchise. 

But for all the filmmakers who do make their way into the MCU, there are just as many who actively avoid it or are asked to leave. Rumors of the House of M getting in the way of their creatives have permeated the industry and have caused hesitancy for some. 

However, the latest Marvel movie-making newbie has spoken out about her experience working with the studio, somewhat debunking any myth of this studio meddling. 

Zhao Had Her Hands on the Wheel

Eternals Action

In an interview with IndieWireEternals director Chloe Zhao debunked rumors of Marvel Studios meddling with action sequences in their films.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker said that "the myth is not quite" and she would "not [be] the only filmmaker who would say that." She continued, emphasizing that a couple of times a week "for a year and a half" she was" in front of a big screen making decisions for every detail:"

Zhao went into her process, saying that she "drew stick figures and storyboards manually" for every scene, including those with heavy visual effects:

“I drew stick figures and storyboards manually for all the scenes, including all the visual effects scenes... I boarded action scenes. I had incredible filmmakers and artists to help me realize these things.”

However, in spite of all this, the director did mention that things did change depending on "the weather and the space" of the location they were filming:

When you get there a couple of days before shooting, you need to look at the weather and the space. You need to be inspired by that location... I wanted a logical way of moving the camera.”

Marvel Myth-Busting From Chloe Zhao

It is nice to have this myth of Marvel Studios meddling in their films' action scenes debunked. Yes, these are just the words of one filmmaker, but she did mention that she would not be the only person to say such things

Three years ago Lucrecia Martel spoke out against Marvel Studios after passing on taking the helm on Black Widow. Martel said the studio came to her and said:

"Don’t worry about the action scenes [we simply want a] female director because we need someone who is mostly concerned with the development of Scarlett Johansson’s character." 

The Argentinian filmmaker is not the first to speak out about Marvel Studio's practices; however, it seems for the most part that Marvel let their creative teams be to make the movie they want to make

Eternals hits theater screens on November 5. 

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.