Chloé Zhao’s cinematic one-two punch this year is a particularly wild one. First up, she released affecting drama Nomadland – which swept the Oscars (including Best Picture and Best Director) and continued her rise as one of the most vital directors working today, following The Rider. And now, hot on its heels, comes Zhao’s next film – a Marvel movie unlike any other. Eternals, the latest MCU film following the release of Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, is a multiple-millennia spanning cosmic comic-book movie, featuring the kind of blockbuster action you’d associate from Kevin Feige’s crew, but plugged into Zhao’s distinctive arthouse sensibilities.
Speaking to Empire in the new Celebration Of Edgar Wright issue, the film’s producer Nate Moore spoke about how Zhao’s 2021 releases aren’t quite as different as you’d first expect. “Chloé’s interested in telling stories about outsiders who find themselves adrift in new worlds. Nomadland and Eternals both share that DNA,” he explains. “Nomadland doesn’t have the same bells and whistles as Eternals, but it has the same thematic resonance.” What it does have is a filmmaker who now boasts major awards clout. “This is definitely a new one for all of us,” says Moore. “‘From the Academy Award-winning director of…’ isn’t a phrase you’re used to hearing before Marvel movies.”
Starring the likes of Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Angelina Jolie, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek and Brian Tyree Henry, Eternals introduces a whole new group of characters to Marvel’s ever-expanding universe – members of an immortal alien race who have lived among humanity in secret for thousands of years, and emerge to face the rising threat of evil creatures the Deviants. Check out the latest trailer here, and read Empire’s full Eternals story in the new issue, on sale Thursday 2 September.
Eternals comes to UK cinemas from 5 November.