Marvel's Eternals Producers Finding Creative Ways To Show Movie To Test Audiences

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Eternals from comics

Even while the Marvel Cinematic Universe works to bring us the beginning of Phase 4 this weekend, the studio is still hard at work to complete more than a handful of other projects for the summer, fall and winter of 2021. The year will bring four new theatrically-released movies and six new shows set to stream on Disney+. With a number of those originally scheduled for 2020, many of those delayed projects are already good to go.

This is especially true in the movie department with films like Black Widow and Eternals, which were originally scheduled to premiere in May and November of last year, respectively. Both of them have had to finish post-production remotely, which is especially tricky for the latter due to a likely high number of VFX shots that need to be polished before its release.

Recently, the woman behind the magic of the aforementioned flick shared her experience through this difficult time.


In a recent interview with Total Film, via ETERNALSnewsEternals director Chloé Zhao expanded on her experience of trying to continue and finish the post-production process for the Marvel Studios theatrical release.

Zhao offered comments on the difficulty of testing her MCU film with audiences during a time when theaters are currently shut in major cities like Los Angeles.

“You want us to be able to screen it for an audience. And that’s been tough. But we're figuring out creative ways of doing it.”


Marvel Studios is known for having test screenings during the post-production of their movies, seeing it as an important step toward creating an entertaining film. With the current world health crisis, there is no word on how Marvel will perform these test screenings most effectively, although they seem to be looking to video call services as the answer. This should provide at least a similar experience to what the studio would normally do in order to gather enough feedback for what is and isn't working in their movies.

This is far from an uncommon sentiment thanks to the worldwide pandemic that has effectively changed the entertainment industry for the foreseeable future. Even for films that have completed the necessary shooting like Marvel Studios' Eternals, the post-production experience is unique in this regard considering the entire team was forced to complete a major blockbuster movie from their own homes.

As Zhao mentioned, video chat services like Zoom have come in handy through these tough times. The team behind Eternals has likely been utilizing platforms like that to stay in touch and show each other the work they're doing on the movie in hopes that everybody can stay on the same page. Although it certainly comes in handy, it's clearly not the same experience as sitting in the studio as one big team to pull a superhero movie together.

There is still a long time before Zhao and her team finish this movie, although the hype is building quickly to see Marvel's classic ancient immortal beings living through the course of human history. Hopefully, this added layer of difficulty won't be too detrimental for Zhao, who is already hard at work as both the director and screenwriter for this epic motion picture.

Eternals will release 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.