Eternals Director Denies Filmmakers Aren’t In Control Of MCU Action Scenes


It took a while for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to settle on an identity, and while some of the franchise’s established tropes are still prevalent to this day, the comic book saga has become a much more creatively collaborative environment since the days of Phase One where filmmakers were kept on a tighter leash.

However, rumors have continued to circulate that the directors tasked with helming the MCU’s mega budget superhero blockbusters don’t have total control over the action sequences, with Marvel instead sending in their own people to ensure that the spectacle is in keeping with what audiences have come to expect.

Sure, Kevin Feige and his team hand over a list of required story points, connective tissue and even a set piece or two, but it would be a touch totalitarian to have representatives handle the biggest moments from a $200 million movie, while the person hired and paid to direct it sits there twiddling their thumbs. Sure enough, Eternals‘ Chloé Zhao poured cold water over the theory during a recent interview with Inverse.

“I would probably say that the myth is not quite true and I think I’m not the only filmmaker who would say that. My god, for a year and a half, three times a week for a couple hours a day, I was sitting in front of a big screen making decisions for every detail of how visual effects could look in the real world.”

It’s like the criticism pointed at the Russo brothers when Cherry was largely panned by critics; are they actually good directors, or just the best at following orders from Marvel? It’s a moot point, but Zhao nonetheless remains adamant she was the one calling the shots when it came to crafting Eternals‘ cosmic smackdowns.