Chloé Zhao turned down Black Widow before joining Marvel’s Eternals as director
Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao will make her directorial debut for Marvel with The Eternals. However, things would have been quite different if she had accepted working on another highly-anticipated Marvel film. And that was Black Widow. Marvel Boss Kevin Feige recently revealed that the Academy Award-winning director turned down a chance to
Eternals was not going to be Chloé Zhao’s first Marvel movie
While talking to Vanity Fair as the outlet made a profile of Chloé Zhao, Feige said that Marvel initially considered Zhao to direct Black Widow. However, Zhao declined to work on the movie and later began focusing on the Eternals with Marvel executive Nate Moore. Moreover, Feige revealed that Zhao “was really fighting for practical locations” in her vision for The Eternals. He said:
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 impressive stuff.
Later on, Feige saw similar jaw-dropping shots in Zhao’s Oscar-winning movie Nomadland, and instantly said:
Oh! That is not just what she wanted to bring to Marvel. This is a signature style.
And sure enough, Chloé Zhao does emphasize very strongly on visual effects. She previously described her unique approach to Marvel films as a “risk,” saying:
I think this is where Marvel really took the risk that we knew we wanted to shoot on location, because by shooting wide-angle lenses on locations it’s going to affect how you do visual effects. It’s going to affect how you do the action. There’s a lot that will feel and look differently. We shot mostly on location, but I love being on the stage, learning about the technology, ‘cos I grew up with manga.
And so, Chloé Zhao continues to employ her well-drilled approach for directing that has already landed her a coveted Oscar for Best Director.