Eternals Director Was ‘Impressed’ With Character Diversity Early On

Chloé Zhao directs the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero story Eternals, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Director for her 2020 film Nomadland, which also won Best Picture. How did she go from there to directing Eternals? The diverse cast of characters drew her in.

Zhao told Entertainment Weekly, “[t]hat really impressed me, how diverse the cast was” from the early drafts of the script. “Not just in terms of gender, race, age, but overall, I could see the desire to reflect the world that we live in, as much as possible.” She elaborated, “what was most important to me was actually to be able to tell a story and to craft characters to be as individual as possible, and to really showcase what’s underneath the surface of what they look like and what they represent.”

The Eternals Cast
Courtesy Of Entertainment Weekly

Filming on location for greater dramatic effect, the cast came together like a family. Zhao was impressed by how well they meshed. “You might not expect them to be in the same room in real life,” she told Entertainment Weekly, “but almost right away, I felt like they each found their place in the family unit.”

Of course, the actors were excited to work with the respected and award-winning director, and that helped bring everyone together. “She’s just one of the greatest filmmakers ever, and she’s at the height of her powers right now,” explained Kumail Nanjiani, who plays Kingo, again to Entertainment Weekly.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige summed it up: “The truth is, we would not have even attempted this if it weren’t for Chloé.”