Eternals Director Reveals Captain America: Civil War Influence


For the most part, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is painted in very distinct shades of black and white; the heroes are almost always straightforward good guys, and the villains do terrible things to justify the consequences that befall them when they get their comeuppance.

Of course, that’s not always the case, but genuine examples are few and far between. Black Panther‘s Killmonger is definitely a great one who followed in the footsteps of cinema’s best baddies by fully believing their actions are entirely justified. Captain America: Civil War‘s main plot also fits the remit, with a team of all-powerful beings torn apart because they can’t agree on how they should be ruled, regulated and overseen.

It was an interesting hook for a great movie, and in a new interview with Empire Magazine, Eternals director Chloé Zhao admitted that Civil War‘s sense of moral ambiguity had a huge influence on how she approached her team of immortal aliens, who made a conscious decision thousands of years ago not to meddle in earthly affairs.

“When you’ve been around for as long as they’ve been around, and had to deal with each other for that amount of time, you’re gonna sometimes rub up against each other the wrong way. They were already on a path towards the sort of movie I was proposing. I do feel like Marvel has explored moral ambiguity quite a lot with movies like Civil War and Endgame . To many people, Thanos was right. I loved the idea of continuing to challenge the straightforward morality we’re used to in the superhero genre… I love all that.”

The comic book genre can often feel boxed in by its own tropes and archetypes, something that Zhao is deliberately seeking to avoid with Eternals. Sure, they’ll all band together to save the day in an effects-driven third act action sequence, but the journey to that point promises to be as illuminating as it is exciting.