Marvel is rolling the dice on another untested director when it comes to shoving indie darlings into a big tentpole project. This has worked in their favor plenty of times before. And they hope it will all work out again as Chloé Zhao is officially set to take on The Eternals.
Chloe Zhao has earned huge critical praise for her Sundance hit The Rider. And it certainly caught the eye of Marvel. She will now enter the big leagues, as she is firmly in place to bring cosmic fantasy adventure The Eternals to life on the big screen.
The screenplay is coming from Matthew and Ryan Firpo, with the movie set to be produced by Marvel big boss Kevin Feige. The Eternals is a comic book created by legendary Jack Kirby. It is set millions of years ago in the far reaches of outer space, when cosmic beings known as the Celestials genetically experimented on the human race.
The Celestials created the super-powered race known as The Eternals, along with their evil counterparts The Deviants. The two groups are known to have battled each other throughout history. Their goal has always been to see who is the ultimate race. It sounds like that battle will finally reach modern times, and it's being called the perfect next chapter coming off next spring's Captain Marvel.
Chloe Zhao is a rising star in the indie film world, and The Rider was one of the best reviewed movies coming out of Sundance this past January. Having her join the Marvel family will bring some new interest to the project when it gets a wider release. The filmmaker was considering a number of major studio offers before decided on The Eternals. Marvel was so impressed with the director in meetings, that they moved extra-fast to book her. They really didn't want her taking another job at another studio outside of Disney.
The Eternals will continue the cosmic side of the Marvel universe first introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy. And their story could possibly be set up in Guardians of the Galaxy 3, should that movie eventually move forward. The sequel was supposed to shoot in early 2019, but director James Gunn was fired by Disney after a series of tweets were rediscovered that referenced child rape and other unsavory topics. Though Gunn tried to get his job back, Disney refused to let him back in.
At this time, there are no cast announcements for The Eternals, but there will be plenty of new characters, giving quite a few actors the chance to finally join the coveted Marvel team. At this time, The Eternals doesn't have a firm release date, but it is confirmed to be a part of Marvel Phase 4, which kicks off with Spider-Man: Far From Home next summer. Other movies included in this line-up include Guardians of the Galaxy 3, Black Panther 2 and Doctor Strange 2. No further movies will be announced until after the release of Avengers 4 next May. Variety was the first to announce the addition of Chloe Zhao to the Marvel family.