In the wake of Nomadland and its multiple Oscar wins, the follow-up film from director Chloé Zhao was always going to be something to look forward to. But for any fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s extra reason to be excited – Zhao is the co-writer and director behind Eternals, an epic, cosmic MCU tale that feels like something brand new for Marvel Studios. Sure, there’s a stellar cast – including Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan and Richard Madden – and people with superpowers involved, but with largely-unknown source material, a multiple-millennia-spanning story, and a visual style that feels completely in line with Zhao’s previous work, this one could be something really special. Check out the first trailer.
Right from the off, this looks like a Chloé Zhao film through and through, her lens capturing astonishing open landscapes bathed in natural light. If her work often feels mythical on a human level, this one is taking place on a whole other scale – introducing the titular Eternals as a group of godlike beings who help shape the course of human history with their gold, sinuous powers. Check out Jolie looking like an actual goddess as Thena, Chan and Madden’s Sersi and Ikaris caught up in a romance that seemingly lasts hundreds of years, and a ludicrously ripped Nanjiani as Kingo, taking part in a Bollywood-inspired dance number. In short, this isn’t going to be your typical Marvel movie.
But it is, of course, a major part of the MCU’s Phase 4, and will eventually tie into wider goings on – as shown in that final scene, with the Eternals sitting down over dinner and discussing the fact that Steve Rogers and Tony Stark are no longer among the Avengers. If there isn’t much of a sense of a wider plot in this teaser, it will be fascinating to see Zhao playing in such mainstream blockbuster territory – and a thrill to have her distinctive voice on a Marvel project.
We’ll find out exactly what Eternals has in store when it hits UK cinemas in November – and in the meantime, Marvel fans have Loki, Black Widow, and Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings to look forward to.