Kevin Feige Reveals Eternals Lead Character And Oscar-Winning Director Chloe Zhao’s “Spectacular” Vision

With Marvel Phase 4 officially in full motion with the successful premieres of WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, fans have a whole lot of new movies to look forward to that have been waiting for their time to hit the spotlight such as Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, of course, the star-studded Eternals.

With the likes of Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harrington and more in the cast, Kevin Feige revealed in an interview that the lead character of the Marvel movie is Gemma Chan’s Sersi.

“If there was a lead in this ensemble, it is Sersi, it is Gemma Chan — we looked at and read all sorts of women for that part. And ended up really believing that Gemma was best for it. And thankfully, she’s proven that to be the case in the final movie,” said Feige in his interview with Variety.

The Eternals

Created by Jack Kirby (creator of Captain America) in 1976, Eternals is about a fictional race of humans who were the result of experimentation by an alien race called the Celestials millions of years in the past. Fun fact: Thanos is one such Eternal.

Directing the movie is Oscar-winning Chloe Zhao. Zhao recently won 2 Oscars for her work on Nomadland and is the second woman and the first Woman of Colour to win for directing. According to Feige, Nomadland wouldn’t have been released last year and received the success it did if Eternals weren’t delayed and if Zhao hadn’t stepped away from the role of directing the upcoming Black Widow to take on the drama.

Zhao initially planned to shelf Nomadland and focus on Eternals, but with the pandemic crashing upon the world and putting a pause in the movie-making industry, Zhao channeled all her energy into making Nomadland what it is today. This attitude of hers assured Feige that she was the right choice to bring Eternals to screen.

Chloe Zhao with her Oscars.

Feige has great hopes for Eternals – amongst other Marvel projects in the pipeline – and has given Zhao full control over the movie.

“These are the kind of filmmakers we want to work with, regardless of the size of the film they’ve done before. Unique voices, with unique things to say. And in her case, which is not always a prerequisite by any means, she was a giant fan, both of the MCU and of the comics fan and of the genre. Which watching her movies you wouldn’t necessarily guess. So it was neat that she let that be known,” said Feige.

“It was an absolute spectacular pitch that Chloé put together (for Eternals). A presentation that Chloé put together about a very bold and very ambitious sprawling 7000-year story of humanity and our place in the cosmos.”

Chloe Zhao on set of Nomadland.

In addition, Feige is confident that Zhao would reinvent superhero movies moving forward at Marvel. The MCU head was impressed by Zhao’s choice to use practical set locations instead of banking on greenscreens and visual effects.

“We cut a little sample reel together, I remember, to show [Disney higher-ups]. And it was so beautiful, and I had to keep saying, “This is right out of a camera; there’s no VFX work to this at all!” Because it was a beautiful sunset, with perfect waves and mist coming up from the shore on this giant cliffside — really, really impressive stuff,” shared Feige.

Eternals is set to follow the events of Avengers: Endgame and will debut the first LGBTQIA+ kiss scene in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the franchises’ first deaf supehero.

For more, do check out the full interview with Kevin Feige over at Variety.

Currently, Eternals is slated to release on 5 November 2021.