Eternals director Chloé Zhao knew that her MCU blockbuster would open to mixed responses, according to a Digital Spy report.
The outlet points out that, released in November 2021 – nine months later than originally planned due to COVID-19 – the Oscar-winner’s cosmic epic made over $400 million globally, yet it remains stuck below 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Citing her Empire interview, the publication says Zhao reflected: “Eternals was planned to be released soon after [Avengers] Endgame, and not at a time when everyone is having an existential crisis.
“The film itself is about existential crisis, both for humanity and God. So I think we definitely felt [a divided opinion] was coming.”
Further along, she also addressed the idea of Eternals sticking more to the ‘Marvel process’ as opposed to her own personal filmmaking style.
“When people have that feeling, like they need to put order into things, they need to understand it by putting it into boxes. It is not about us, it is about them. And I say that lovingly, because they have a level of comfort [with] how their entertainment and their world – their beloved Marvel, or their beloved indie filmmaker – functions.
“That’s the order of the logic of their world that’s being disturbed. So I appreciate their passion, to try to make sense of it.
“The truth is that nobody is one layer. In this case, we truly stepped out of the box that I think the world put us in, and met in the middle because of our shared interests. And by truly doing that, it made a lot of people uncomfortable on both sides,” Zhao continued.
“I completely understand the divisiveness coming from critics and the fans. Because when you take this to extremes that are seen as opposition – the world I come from and the world of Marvel, that has been divided in a way that’s so unfair and unfortunate – and to merge the way we did, I actually see the reaction as a testament to how much we had merged with each other; how uncomfortable that might make people feel.”