Marvel Studios will be expanding their cinematic universe by going cosmic after Avengers 4. Earlier this year, the studio went to Matthew Firpo and Ryan Firpo to pen the script for The Eternals, featuring a cosmic group of superheroes that are comparable to DC’s The New Gods. And now they have found a new director. New reports confirm that The Rider director Chloe Zhao will helm the film. More on the story below.
THR says Zhao will direct the film based on a group of Marvel superheroes who are considered to be an offshoot of the evolutionary process that created sentient life on Earth. The group was created by the alien race known as the Celestials in order to combat against Deviants, another Celestial creation.
While the film is still in the very early stages of development, reports say that “one aspect to the story involves the love story between Ikaris, a man fueled by cosmic energy, and Sersi, who relishes moving amongst humans.” The title will also allow the studio to assemble a diverse cast of various shapes and sizes.
Zhao should be a familiar name to those who follow Marvel Studios news closely. She was one of the frontrunners for the Black Widow standalone film. A job that eventually went to Cate Shortland. But it looks like Zhao made a huge impression on the studio. So much so, they gave another big project to her.
As for The Eternals, the comic was created by Jack Kirby in 1976, which succeeded his New Gods title, which was published in 1971. Thematically, the two are the same, and both films are in the being developed for the big screen. Zhao will be directing The Eternals, while Ava DuVernay will be directing The New Gods. So it’s pretty cool to see women of color behind the director’s chair for the cosmic side of comic book films.
Now, the heroes themselves, their powers and abilities vary from member to member. Ikaris channels cosmic energy to greatly enhance his senses. He also has regenerative healing powers, flight, psionic powers, matter transmutation, and teleportation. Sersi has superhuman strength and durability, and molecular and atomic manipulation. And because they have been endowed with great powers by the Celestials, all of them have superhuman durability, which makes them nearly immortal.
Let’s just hope that things work out for The Eternals better than it did for Inhumans, which went from being a film prospect to a dud of a TV show.
Chinese-born Zhao is best known for The Rider and Songs My Brothers Taught Me. While those films are more indie fare, her road to a Marvel film is somewhat similar to those who came before her like Taika Waititi, James Gunn, and Jon Watts, all of whom were smaller lesser-known directors who got the job to direct Marvel Studio titles.