Eternals Inspired by Interstellar, The Revenant, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Director Chloé Zhao Says


Eternals is three-and-a-half weeks clear of unlock, and its Oscar-winning filmmaker Chloé Zhao has spoken about her inspirations and her solution to the following Marvel film in a brand new interview. Zhao makes use of the phrase “grounded” so much, noting that she sought after those immortal beings to really feel each fantastical but grounded. As for what they watched on repeat whilst making Eternals, Zhao and the group at Marvel checked out movies through administrators equivalent to Christopher Nolan, Stanley Kubrick, Terrence Malick, Denis Villeneuve, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Ron Fricke.

“I would say I pay tribute to many films and filmmakers that had great influence on me in this movie. It becomes fanfare for me,” Zhao instructed Fandango. “I try to let them inspire me in different parts of the movie because the film is so diverse, visually. I could do a lot of different things.

“Particularly with the team at Marvel — our visual effects team, the action units, the design teams — we watched [Terrence] Malick films, particularly The Tree of Life and The New World. We watched [Iñárritu’s] The Revenant a lot, and [Nolan’s] Interstellar a lot.

“We watched [Villeneuve’s] Blade Runner 2049 and a film called Samsara [by Fricke]. We watched that a lot. Obviously [Kubrick’s] 2001: A Space Odyssey was very important, too. These were the films we had on repeat, and of course, there’s many other things in my life that I’ve watched that snuck into it.”

As with any director short of to make a Marvel film, Zhao delivered an intensive Eternals pitch to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. It started with a photograph of sand and a William Blake poem. Zhao says it used to be a “very long pitch”.

“What drew me to this movie and why they hired me, I think, is that the visual experience for this film must feel immersive enough for the audience to believe that these superhero characters have walked the earth for 7,000 years,” Zhao added.

“To do that, there’s what I like to call an anthropological way of capturing things. The cameras are very grounded, and the movements are very natural. Shots are longer — we use wide angle lenses, and deep focus.” Similar to what Zhao did together with her Oscar-winning film Nomadland.

“It’s about giving the audience the space and the time to be able to explore what’s within the frame, and therefore come to their own conclusion of the relationship between the characters and the space they’re in,” Zhao stated.

“In this case you’re going throughout history and 7,000 years” — that is how lengthy the Eternals were secretly residing on Earth — “[and so it’s] even more important to make us feel like this world feels real and grounded,” she added.

“I wanted to apply that same digital style to everything from action, visual effects, to also capturing the grand mythology of the Celestials [who created the Eternals] in the cosmos, and the consistency of that. I wanted it to feel grounded yet fantastical.”

Eternals releases November 5 — an afternoon after Diwali — in India in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam.

  • Release Date 5 November 2021
  • Language English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada
  • Genre Action, Adventure, Drama
  • Cast Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Harish Patel, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie
  • Director Chloé Zhao
  • Producer Kevin Feige, Nate Moore
  • Music Ramin Djawadi
  • Production Marvel Studios



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