Chloé Zhao Raises Marvel Formula With ‘Eternals’

This time, however, there was no infinity-sized punchfest in the sky. If you don’t have one Last game endgame, Marvel’s filmmakers have little limitations and a lot of paths they can take. Each film can be different in theme, visually, emotionally. It was already tasted by fans last September at Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which, yes, has punching, but also has more 1970s-style kung fu in its cinematic DNA than any Marvel movie before it.

Eternals even further than the Marvel formula. Once Zhao was on board, he reworked the script and planned to shoot it in his style: small green screen, multiple location shoots, natural light, wide angle lenses to capture close proximity and wide scenes within the same frame. (This is where the Final Fantasy and the influence of Terrence Malick entered. Think Tree of Life with swords.) If it looks like Marvel’s house style is already broken, that’s why they hired him. “I don’t try to do something different for doing something different — that doesn’t interest me,” Zhao said. “There’s no reason for them to get someone like me to just shoot a movie on the soundstage.”

As Moore said, hiring Zhao to make a film more similar to his 2017 modern Western, The Rider, than in Iron Man 3 comes with the kinds of changes that Marvel has always said it wants to make “and then the difficulty of the schedule is the first things to get.” Zhao, he said, is no different than his former Sundance Screenwriters Lab classmate Ryan Coogler, director of Black Panther, so that they both “challenge our system as to why we do things a certain way.”

Instead of shining, main color razzle-dazzle, Eternals, in Zhao’s care, occupies more muted, subtle tones. Other Marvel movies may require big CGI worlds, but since his movie is about heroes who have been on Earth for 7,000 years, he wants his cast to be able to interact with the real physical. spaces. And while Eternals’ The central characters have to save the Earth from the Deviants (you know, hero shit), according to Moore the film also challenges speculations of what the comic book characters will look like.

If it’s already in theaters in November, Eternals is the first Marvel movie to feature a deaf star — Lauren Ridloff as Makkari. It will also feature Phastos by Brian Tyree Henry, one of MCU’s first obvious gay superheroes. Many of the characters are a little different or gender different than the original Jack Kirby comics in the 1970s. Eternals are immortal cosmic beings, Moore says, not supersolders. They don’t all have to have six-pack abs. For Zhao, that’s the point. There is a lot of talk about inclusion in Hollywood, but it’s always shifted to checking the box; he wanted to honor the diversity of his characters by making their personal identities part of the plot.

“There are a lot of different ways for a person to be a hero,” Zhao said. “I want to explore as much as possible, so that more audiences can see themselves in these heroic moments and feel that they can relate.”

This, too, speaks to Zhao’s strengths. Feige likens him to an anthropologist, one who studies his subjects and then makes films that showcase their abilities. He did it with the real nomads on display Nomadland and the Lakota rodeo cowboy at the heart of The Rider. with Eternals, he cross-pollinated the story of human evolution in Harari’s Sapiens with Marvel’s own mythology to figure out how extraterrestrials came together with humanity over the course of the millennium. This is the kind of thing, according to Feige, Marvel needs to do to avoid self -repetition. “I told him on some dark, full days in the middle of production,” he said, “that his vision for this film made me think that, afterLast game, the MCU can survive. ”

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