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We Now Know Why Chloe Zhao Is The Perfect Director For Eternals

Chloé Zhao has had a successful career as an independent filmmaker, writing, directing and producing 2015's "Songs my Brother Taught Me," 2017's "The Rider" and 2020's "Nomadland," the last of which won both "Best Picture" and "Best Director" at the 2021 Academy Awards. However, there's nothing independent about her latest project, "Eternals," as it's an upcoming installment in the massive franchise of movies and TV shows within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In order to learn more about the upcoming film, Entertainment Weekly got to go behind the scenes of the production and learn more about the hotly anticipated installment within the MCU. It will tell the story of the 10 ageless beings watching over Earth for over seven thousand years, starting with the beginning of human civilization up through the continuing fallout of "Avengers: Endgame." 

But even though the new technology, budget, and resources Zhao is relying on to make the film is a huge departure from the smaller indie films she's done in the past, MCU Boss Kevin Feige explained why Chloe Zhao is actually the perfect fit to direct Eternals.

Chloé Zhao: cinematic visionary, genre nerd

Movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe are often among the most ambitious — and expensive — film projects out there. But even so, the narrative scope of "Eternals" ups the ante considerably. The movie's plot encompasses the whole of civilized human history, both fictional and nonfictional. Entertainment Weekly says that the film's huge scale "intrigued" Zhao, and it's what Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige believes makes the director the perfect choice for the project. 

He told Entertainment Weekly that "we would not have even attempted this if it weren't for Chloé... We thought, here's a filmmaker who is equal parts cinematic visionary and genre nerd. She can outtalk any of us when it comes to manga and Star Wars and Marvel comics. It's quite an astounding combination. And this movie, I think, represents all of the immense multitudes of Chloé."

One might think that covering such an expansive amount of time among 10 characters would make for a movie that barely scratches the surface of any one event or character, but for Chloé Zhao, it was an exciting challenge. She could both "go as big and as epic as our meaning in the cosmos, but I can also go intimate and explore all of the internal struggles we have as human beings," as she shared with EW. "Because these characters have lived among us for so long, [they have] the same struggles like identity, purpose, faith, personal freedom versus greater good — all the duality and flaws that make us human."

"Eternals" is finally set to release exclusively in theaters November 5, 2021, a year out from its original release date of November 6, 2020, due to delays related to COVID-19.