Chloe Zhao’s Eternals has been dominating the discourse for the better part of a month, for better or for worse. When it comes to critics, the film is the lowest-rated project Marvel Studios has ever released. Once fans started to watch it, however, the discourse was more apparent than ever. Even in light of all that, the Oscar-winning director is now rumored as a finalist to helm another major franchise.
Tuesday morning, word began to spread online of Zhao’s talks with Lucasfilm about directing the Star Wars feature being produced by Kevin Feige. A script for the feature is currently being drafted by Loki head writer Michael Waldron. Should she land the gig, what would that mean for a potential Eternals sequel?
In short, nothing much will likely really change. Taika Waititi was able to direct Thor: Love and Thunder before shifting focus over to his take on a Star Wars project. Unless the Lucasfilm team is being staunch on production timelines, it would stand to reason Zhao would also be able to do both Feige’s project and Eternals 2, should Marvel eventually greenlight it.
On the flip side, perhaps Marvel Studios and Zhao do part ways before a second Marvel fleck. It wouldn’t be the first time the studio has swapped filmmakers after a first. Both the Thor and Captain America franchises had different directors for their first two features, and it’s not an isolated choice. Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden also stepped aside after Captain Marvel hit theaters to allow Nia DaCosta to come in and direct the second film in that franchise, The Marvels.
While Zhao has stopped short of confirming she’s expected to return, she has said she would like to revisit the MCU at a later date.
“I was encouraged to make a good standalone film, very encouraged to do that. I think now the film belongs to you, not me, and we want to see how this child grows in this scary, wild, and beautiful world,” Zhao told JoBlo when asked about her Marvel return. “And then we need to watch and listen and learn and then see where we go from there. But I think, maybe I’m wrong about this, but I feel like filmmakers, it doesn’t matter what genre, they tend to make the same movie over and over and over (laughs).”
Zhao added: “There’s certain themes, there’s certain things that I would keep pushing, I’m very happy to go back to make films with five people again.”
Eternals is now in theaters while Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be available for Disney+ subscribers to stream on November 12th.
What did you think of Eternals? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!
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Cover photo by Marilla Sicilia/Archivio Marilla Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images
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