ETERNALS Director Chloé Zhao Denies Speculation That Marvel Studios Takes Control Of Any Action Scenes

One of the filmmakers once eyed to direct Black Widow claimed Marvel Studios told her not to worry about action scenes, but Eternals helmer Chloé Zhao reveals that was never part of her MCU experience...

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A few years ago, Argentinean director Lucrecia Martel made headlines when she claimed in an interview that Marvel Studios had told her not to worry about Black Widow's action scenes. She was keen to try her hand at those sequences, so passed on the project, but there's since been a theory that the studio hires filmmakers to shoot the "talky" bits before inserting the action scenes they want in there. 

It seems more likely that Marvel Studios was just reassuring a relatively inexperienced filmmaker that they could help. Regardless, during a recent IndieWire interview, Eternals helmer Chloé Zhao denied ever experiencing interference from Marvel Studios when it came to action. 

While she did rely on previsualization to help build those set pieces before cameras started rolling, that was something the Oscar-winner notes she was actually involved with from the start.

"From day one, Marvel said, ‘Here are the tools we use. We need your version. We don’t want three different movies we want your movie,’" Zhao explains. "They would be there to help me because I’ve never used these tools. I would probably say that the myth is not quite true and I think I’m not the only filmmaker who would say that."

"My God, for a year and a half, three times a week for a couple hours a day, I was sitting in front of a big screen making decisions for every detail of how visual effects could look in the real world."

While we're sure Zhao wouldn't admit to any creative differences in the midst of a global press tour, she has talked openly about wanting to return for the sequel and even helming Kevin Feige's Star Wars movie. Black Widow director Cate Shorthand has been similarly positive while reflecting on her experience, so it doesn't appear these claims about action scenes are really an issue.

Eternals arrives exclusively in theaters on November 5!

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