Marvel Studios’ Eternals was a spectacle. Even if your opinions on the plot might be divided, there’s no denying the film was visually stunning. And the visionary director who brought it to life was Chloé Zhao.
Now, in a new interview with Empire, Zhao gave some interesting insights about the film’s original ending, Kingo not returning to the final battle, DC heroes, and Eros’ surprise entry.
Something Eternals did differently from all the other superhero movies was “the return of the good guy after losing faith in the cause.” When Kingo expresses his disbelief in Ikaris, he leaves the rest of the band to their fate, never to return for the rest of the film.
The director explained his absence and said it was directly related to Ajak (Salma Hayek), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), and Ikaris (Richard Madden) being the three believers in the film.
Ajak believed humans were her children and chose love. Ikaris was stern about his beliefs and killed her for them. Whereas, Kingo refused to go against his own family for the greater good.
…And Kingo has confirmed the beliefs, but he refused to hurt people for it. That’s a very difficult thing for a superhero to do in Act Three of a superhero film—to step back and not fight and not hurt anybody. Ever since Han Solo returns at the end of Star Wars to save the day, we’ve been conditioned to expect a character who’s reluctant in the final confrontation, to come back in and help out. Kingo doesn’t do that. That’s a really bold decision.
Kingo respects and loves Ikaris and couldn’t defy him; neither could he go up against the rest of his family. He knows he has orders from above to follow, but he chooses to be a bystander in a “whatever happens, I’ll learn to live with it” kind of way.
As later, the film reveals the twisted way in which humans were basically “fuel” to feed the creation of a Celestial and that the Eternals weren’t really there to protect them—it is obvious a lot of them would have internal conflicts as they are forced to question even their own existence and purpose.
Zhao revealed that the film’s original ending was bleak and quite frankly a bit upsetting,
It used to end with everybody back on the ship, minds erased and just going on to another planet, like The Twilight Zone. I remember when it goes to black, everyone was like, “I don’t know what to do.” And also, it’s the MCU, and you want to be excited for what’s next.
Speaking of what’s next, Zhao talked about wanting to explore the character of Eros more and how he was one of the Eternals sent on Titan and how his could’ve directly affected Thanos.
Zhao was also adamant that the part of Eros was specifically made for Harry Styles, and she pitched the two together to Kevin Feige. She compared the duo of Eros and Pip the troll to Star Wars’ Han Solo and Chewie.
The director talked about her love for comics, and it definitely reflects on the references and inspirations used in the film.
She explained the Superman comparison was a way to pay tribute to an iconic superhero and revealed that one of the deleted scenes had a Batman reference as well.
Eternals will be available to stream on Disney+ starting January 12.
Eternals is a 2021 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics of the same name. It is the 26th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Chloé Zhao, who wrote the screenplay with Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo, and Kaz Firpo.
It stars an ensemble cast including Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Harish Patel, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie.
In the film, the Eternals, an immortal alien race, emerge from hiding after thousands of years to protect Earth from their ancient counterparts, the Deviants.