Fans have been conditioned not to leave the theater during any Marvel Cinematic Universe project until the lights go up, a practice that dates all the way back to Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury making an unannounced cameo appearance in Iron Man back in the summer of 2008.
Not every post-credits scene has to be a game-changing revelation or the debut of a major new star, but it certainly helps when it comes to generating a little extra buzz. As you many have noticed, the internet is going wild for Eternals‘ pair of stingers, and it turns out that one of them has always been part of the plan.
Sometimes, the credits sequences are added very late in the day, and they’ve regularly been shot without the director of the project in question being involved. However, Chloe Zhao revealed to Deadline that Patton Oswalt’s Pip the Troll and Harry Styles’ Eros were part of her original pitch to Marvel Studios.
“Harry as Eros was very much a package deal for me. I pitched the idea of Pip the Troll and Eros to Kevin Feige, a while back. I love the idea of exploring an Eternal who is beyond Titan and who may have influenced Thanos throughout the years the same way the Eternals influenced us, earthlings. It wasn’t like I suggested Eros, and let’s go find actors. I kept tabs on Harry since Dunkirk, I thought he was very interesting. After meeting him I realized he is that character—the same way I cast the rest of my cast. There’s so much of Eros in him. For me, if he says yes and Kevin says yes then it’s a go. And I’m very happy they both did.”
When you factor in her previous comments about the pitching process, the two-time Academy Award winner went into a room with arguably the industry’s most powerful producer, showed him a blown-up photo of a grain of sand, and then threw out the idea of a former One Direction member playing Thanos’ brother, with a famous comedian voicing a CGI troll with a drinking problem, and everyone still wound up in unanimous agreement that Zhao was the right person for Eternals.