Why Eternals' Director Is Using Avengers: Endgame As A Jumping Off Point

Thanos and his army in Endgame

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is an ever expanding franchise, with future spans going years down the road. While the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back Phase Four's opening, there are some highly anticipated projects coming down the pipeline, on both the big and small screen. Chief among them is Chloé Zhao's Eternals, which was shifted back a number of months when Black Widow took its November release date. And it turns out that Zhao was actually influenced by Avengers: Endgame when it came to approaching her Marvel debut.

Eternals has a ton of hype around it, largely due to its scale and A+ ensemble. Chloé Zhao assembled the most diverse cast in Marvel history, and will tell a cosmic story that spans thousands of years. While its contents are being kept under wraps, the filmmaker recently explained how Endgame helped her thing big in her own blockbuster. As she put it,

How much further and bigger can we go after [Avengers:] Endgame? Because I’m not just making the film as a director. I’m making the film as a fan.

Well, that's intriguing. It looks like Chloé Zhao wanted to go bigger and better than the MCU had seen. And considering the scale of The Russo Brothers' Avengers movies, in particular Endgame, Zhao challenged herself to exceed this pedigree with Eternals. Suddenly the wait for its release feels so much longer, doesn't it?

Chloé Zhao's comments to THR should continue to build anticipation for Eternals, especially now that the public will have to wait even longer for her Marvel debut to hit theaters. The upcoming blockbuster has already been teased as a massive story through time and space, and now the director is teasing how Avengers: Endgame was a creative launchpad in regards to scale. Now we just have to wait and see what tricks Zhao has up her sleeve.

Marvel fans can re-watch Avengers: Endgame on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

While Eternals' contents are being kept close to the chest by the cast and crew, Chloé Zhao's vision has been praised by the cast head of its release. While the public hasn't been treated to any footage, Zhao went on to explain how her love for manga will affect the upcoming blockbuster. As she put it,

I have such deep, strong, manga roots. I brought some of that into Eternals. And I look forward to pushing more of that marriage of East and West.

Sign me up. Superhero movies like Eternals are ultimately adaptations of comic book stories, and manga is just another take on that artform. And seeing that influence make into the MCU will no doubt make for a unique moviegoing experience when the blockbuster hits theaters in February. Paired with a stellar cast of superpowered heroes, the action potential is seemingly limitless.

Eternals will also be making major changes to its characters, which should allow for even comic book enthusiasts to be surprised by the movie's contents. Chloé Zhao assembled a killer cast including Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Kit Harrington, Brian Tyree Henry, and Lauren Ridloff. The team will boast a ton of first for the MCU, including a same-sex couple and a hearing impaired hero.

Eternals is currently set to hit theaters on February 12th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your moviegoing experiences for next year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.