It seems almost impossible that a director like Chloé Zhao, whose previous films have been small in scale in incredibly intimate, could find herself directing a highly anticipated installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Eternals. But rather than sacrificing what she knows, Zhao is doing her best to bring her personal touch to the highest-grossing film franchise of all time. In a recent interview with Margaret Gardiner, Zhao confirmed that she took part in the writing process for the upcoming film.
“I am the writer on Eternals, the credits just aren’t updated yet,” said Zhao. “I don’t know what it would be like if I didn’t write the film, if I wasn’t at least a huge part of the writing process. So yeah, I haven’t experienced that in my career, I’m scared of that if that happens one day.”
Zhao’s previous efforts include Songs My Brother Taught Me, The Rider, and the Frances McDormand-led Oscar favorite this year, Nomadland, which is set to release February 19. All three films have received high praise from critics and audiences, and her last two films had budgets that hovered around the $5 million marks. Meanwhile, The Eternals budget is sitting at $200 million.
“In the writing process, that’s sort of where I bring my sensibility in, that’s a huge part of it,” Continued Zhao. “And creating situations that will allow certain kinds of cinematic language to come in, that is something that I’ve learned from my last three films. I think what Marvel has been so incredible at – Kevin [Feige] and Nate [Moore] and the whole team – they knew from the moment I pitched the film, I really wanted the scope and scale at the same time as the intimacy. They knew I wanted both. They have been so incredible holding my hand through the entire process of allowing me to go as far as possible and as small as possible, and how that fits into the whole MCU. It’s been a pretty incredible process. You’ll have to wait and see.”
The Eternals is slated to hit the big screen later this year on November 5.