‘Eternals’ Director Chloé Zhao And Kevin Feige Reveal How The Film’s LGBTQ Relationship Will Feel Organic

Eternals, as of last week, is officially the new title of the Marvel Studios/Disney film previously known as The Eternals. The “the” might not mean much to everyone, but it sure means a lot to The Suicide Squad director James Gunn, who was thrilled to see that “[m]y friends at @MarvelStudios did me the favor and gave me the ‘The.'” Now that this issue is settled, we can go back to talking about the Eternals story, which is being teased by director Chloé Zhao and Marvel chief Kevin Feige at Hollywood Reporter.

Of chief interest is how (while Thor: Ragnarok‘s Valkryie is still waiting to have a queen in Thor: Love and Thunder) Eternals will sprint ahead to include Marvel’s first openly gay superhero. Haaz Sleiman previously revealed this his character will be married to gay superhero Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), and the film will include a same-sex kiss. Zhao’s Eternals will present the relationship as integral to the story, rather than making it feel tacked-on, and Feige is on board with that approach. He also wants to get to a point where inclusion happens so much in Marvel movies that it’s not necessarily big news:

An LGBTQ relationship in the film “was always sort of inherent in the story and the makeup of the different types of Eternals,” says Feige. “I think it is extremely well done, and I look forward to that level of inclusion in our future movies being less of a topic.”

He makes a fair point, and Zhao (Songs My Brothers Taught Me and the upcoming Nomadland, which is already hearing Oscar chatter) seems very confident in how the subject slides right into her movie. She also added that Marvel Studios gave her complete creative freedom with this project. “I shot exactly the way I wanted to shoot,” she says. “On location. A lot of magic hour. Three-hundred-sixty degrees on the same camera as I did on Nomadland” She calls the level of deference to her judgment “surreal” and adds, “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.”

Eternals, which also stars Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, and Kit Harington, is currently scheduled for February 12, 2021.

(Via Hollywood Reporter)