For the most part, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s blockbusters tend to be primary-colored affairs, where every emotional beat is almost instantly offset by a well-placed quip or one-liner. While Eternals does feature its fair share of that, the 26th installment in the franchise is also unlike anything we’ve seen from the series before.
With the narrative spanning the entirety of human civilization, Eternals goes to great pains to paint the titular team in almost deified tones, with their presence in the background of history having elevated them above mere superheroes and into the realm of gods and monsters.
It’s a novel approach for the MCU, but it’s also the way Zack Snyder opted to craft his almost operatic trilogy over at DC, dispensing with formula to tell sweeping tales indebted to ancient mythology. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that director Chloe Zhao admitted to PureBreak that she was inspired by the filmmaker’s Man of Steel.
“You said it, not me! Superman is the Übermensch, the ultimate man, the superman, a concept that exists in all cultures. Of all modern interpretations of Superman, this is Zack Snyder’s with Man Of Steel which inspired me the most because he approached this myth in an authentic and very real way. I remember thinking it was Superman by Terrence Malick when I saw the trailer. This film left a strong impression on me. But Ikaris is, of course, our own take on Superman.”
The SnyderVerse proved very polarizing among critics but spawned a hugely dedicated fanbase, and looking at the discrepancies in how the two parties have reacted to Eternals so far, the comparisons run much deeper than simply being mythological spins on the standard tropes of the comic book genre.