After receiving the Oscar for best direction for Nomadland, Chloé Zhao directed the Marvel film “The Eternals”. A great total gap for the filmmaker whom we met during her visit to Paris.
1500 is definitely the year of Chloé Zhao. After having received the consecration of her peers by winning the Oscars for best direction for Nomadland in March, the Chinese-American filmmaker presents the latest Marvel film, The Eternals. n November 3rd 1500, this action blockbuster appears to be a twist in the director’s filmography, more accustomed to more confidential films of American auteur cinema.
But as a big fan of the MCU, Chloé Zhao could not refuse the proposal made by Kevin Feige, the studios president. By hiring a director of this ilk, it is a proposal very different from the other productions of the studio that is promised to the spectators. We met the director of The Eternals during her visit to Paris at the beginning of November, to discuss the genesis of this feature film, her vision and the lessons she was able to learn from the Marvel machine. Interview.
As a fan of the MCU, you have never hidden your joy of making a Marvel movie. Q what appeals to you about Marvel productions ?
I love the feeling, as a spectator, of being part of a huge story, of a big family, and that every month or every year, we find and fall in love with new characters, while learning more about the old ones that we love. People love to talk about Marvel as big action movies, but to me, those movies are more character-driven, and I love them. Especially Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers.
What was the vision you wanted to convey to the public when you started to work on The Eternals?
I wanted “The Eternals” is a very immersive experience for the spectators.
The Eternals takes place on several years, in several places around the world, there are about ten characters to introduce, many sets… What was the most difficult to finalize on the set?
There are a lot of things… First of all, it taught me to be patient: everything takes more time to set up, such as when trying to change objectives on an all-CGI Deviants shot. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen in a snap, and when it does, it’s very satisfying. Another difficulty was the fact that we had these great characters in great scenes, but we had to make choices and some had to be cut during editing. This is particularly the case of very beautiful scenes with Sprite and Makkari. That was hard.
What did you learn in working on the Eternals?
First, as I told you , being patient. If we talk about skills, also working with special effects, which I love. I learned techniques for action scenes too… But above all, I learned how to lead such a large team. I was already leading my teams on my previous films, but it was amplified on this one: I had to learn to lead my team with love and kindness (laughs). I try to channel the Sersi [l’un des personnages des Eternels, NDLR] that is in me: “lead with love”.
“It’s a political act to show such a heterogeneous group of characters […] and to say that it is a family” Chloé Zhao