How Chloé Zhao Made Marvel History At The 2021 Oscars

One of the most prestigious awards to be taken home at the Oscars is that of Best Director, a category that had five incredible nominees going into this year's ceremony. Chloé Zhao ("Nomadland"), Thomas Vinterberg ("Another Round"), Emerald Fennell ("Promising Young Woman"), David Fincher ("Mank"), and Lee Isaac Chung ("Minari") all attended the ceremony on Sunday, April 25, hopeful of scoring the trophy given to so many icons in the past.

This year's nominee group made history, given that it was the first time two women had ever been nominated together for Best Director (via The Hollywood Reporter). Additionally, Zhao was the first non-white woman ever to be nominated for the award — and her big win for "Nomadland" now mean's she's the first to posses one as well. Zhao is the second woman to ever win Best Director at the Oscars, following after Kathryn Bigelow, who took home the award in 2010 for "The Hurt Locker." 

Zhao's win is especially exciting for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as she also directed one of the studio's newest projects which has yet to hit screens: "Eternals." But fans aren't just excited because they can now say "Eternals" is directed by an Oscar-winning filmmaker. Through her Best Director win at the 2021 Oscars, Zhao has also made history for Marvel Studios.

Chloé Zhao is the first MCU filmmaker to win Best Director

There's a long list of directors who've helmed Marvel Cinematic Universe projects, but none of them have ever won an Academy Award for Best Director — until now. Chloé Zhao's Best Director win for "Nomadland" solidifies her as the first MCU director to hold the award. 

Howver, another Marvel director does have an Oscar to their name, just not for winning Best Director. In 2020, "Thor: Ragnarok" director Taika Waititi, who's working on "Thor: Love and Thunder" as well, took home the Best Screenplay Oscar for his film "Jojo Rabbit."

Zhao's big win should have MCU fans hyped for "Eternals," which is set to land in theaters on November 5. The buzz for the film has been slowly building, and fans were further excited when Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige revealed to Rolling Stone that Zhao gave him the best pitch for a movie he had ever heard. "Not only does Chloé make remarkable, small, personal movies in a remarkable, small, personal way, but she thinks in grand, cosmic, gigantic terms, which fit perfectly with what we wanted to do," Feige noted. "'Eternals' is a very big, sweeping, multi-millennial-spanning story. And she just got it." 

Zhao's win for Best Director combined with Feige's comments gives fans every reason to believe "Eternals" will blow people's minds come November.