‘Eternals’ First Footage: Oscar Winner Chloé Zhao Enters the MCU with Angelina Jolie and More

Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, and Kit Harington all star in the ensemble-driven MCU title.

Chloé Zhao has made a name for herself as one of the best indie filmmakers working today thanks to a trio of acclaimed features: “Songs My Brother Taught Me,” “The Rider,” and “Nomadland.” The latter won the Golden Lion at the 2020 Venice Film Festival and picked up Oscars this year for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress. Zhao’s win for Best Director made her the second woman and first woman of color to win the Academy’s filmmaking prize. Now the director heads to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for her first studio tentpole “Eternals,” the first footage from which debuted in Marvel Studios’ Phase Four teaser.

“Eternals” is an ensemble-driven comic book movie starring the likes of Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, and Kit Harington. The story takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” and centers on an alien race living on Earth for over 7,000 years who team up to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants.

While many cinephiles have wondered how Zhao will approach a big-budget blockbuster, the filmmaker stressed last year she did not approach “Eternals” any differently than “The Rider” or “Nomadland.” As the director told The Hollywood Reporter, “I shot exactly the way I wanted to shoot. On location. A lot of magic hour. Three-hundred-sixty degrees on the same camera as I did on ‘Nomadland.’ Same rigs. It’s a bit surreal. I’m still waiting for the shoe to drop. It hasn’t. I think I got lucky in that Marvel wants to take risks and do something different.”

Joining Zhao for “Eternals” is composer Ramin Djawadi, best known for his work on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” and cinematographer Ben Davis, who has helped shape the look of the MCU for years now as the DP on “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014), “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015), “Doctor Strange” (2016), and “Captain Marvel” (2019). In an exciting bit of news, Paul Thomas Anderson’s longtime editor Dylan Tichenor is also working on “Eternals.”

Disney is scheduled to release “Eternals” in theaters November 5, 2021. The MCU Phase Four teaser below also confirms new titles for “Captain Marvel 2” (now “The Marvels”) and “Black Panther 2” (now “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”). Watch more teases from the upcoming Marvel films in the video below.

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