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This MCU Director Is The Most-Awarded Female Director In The History Of Film

Marvel Cinematic Universe movies are massive productions, requiring multiple filming units, armies of digital effects artists, and super-sized budgets. Like any other movie though, at the center of these gargantuan undertakings is a director steering the ship. Marvel movies find their main appeal in their connectivity, major set pieces, and the charm of their actors. But the company often taps refreshingly unexpected directors to helm their movies, no doubt in an attempt to flavor their branded films with some originality and voice. 

The Russo brothers transitioned from directing comedies and sitcoms to massive MCU hits like "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Avengers: Endgame." Before his acclaimed "Spider-Man" trilogy, director Jon Watts had a short filmography peppered with the likes of an Eli Roth-produced horror feature titled "Clown," and the independent thriller "Cop Car." Similarly, James Gunn's most notable feature film directorial effort before "Guardians of the Galaxy" was the horror-comedy "Slither."

Marvel clearly doesn't always play it safe when it comes to directors, and they have tried to keep that pedigree up recently as they diversify their slate of film and television projects. One of the company's most recent directors behind one of their more divisive films actually stands as the most-awarded female director in the history of the medium. 

Eternals director Chloe Zhao holds a special place in film history

Last year's "Eternals" was arguably Marvel's most divisive film to date. Though it tied directly into the Marvel canon, the movie went more mystical and pensive than your average MCU flick, splitting audiences and critics in the process. Among critics, it holds a meager 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while users have approved far more, giving it a fresh 78%. The divided and passionate responses to the movie are a credit to the originality of its director, Chloé Zhao, who currently stands as the most-awarded female director in film history. 

Before taking on "Eternals," Zhao was known for smaller, more independent movies. Shortly before her MCU debut hit theaters, she found mainstream awards success with 2020's "Nomadland" starring Frances McDormand. For her work as a director, writer, and producer on the film, Zhao won a number of awards big and small, from the Columbus Film Critics Association's award for best adapted screenplay, to best picture and best director at the Oscars. Zhao's prior feature films, 2015's "Songs My Brothers Taught Me" and 2017's "The Rider," also received their fair share of accolades. All in all, Zhao has 154 award wins under her belt, which, according to a report by Uswitch, makes her the current most awarded female director in film history. "The Power of the Dog" director Jane Campion is the current runner-up with 128 award wins.