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Chloé Zhao on the Eternals’ shared reception: ‘We definitely had a feeling it was coming’ – Exclusive | movies

Last year was a significant year for filmmaker Chloe Zhao. In the early months of 2021, she made Oscar history, winning Best Picture and Best Director awards nomadic country. And just months later, she released one of the most controversial films in the MCU — an ambitious cosmic epic eternal. While the film grossed over $400 million at the box office (even in the pandemic era), it received mixed reactions from critics and Marvel fans alike. Now in a big new one rich Interview, Zhao reflects on the film’s initial reception, its evolving status and why it may have ended up the way it did

The director says she’s aware of the mixed reviews for the release, but wasn’t concerned about it. “I think the need for consensus is a barrier to any authentic creative process,” she says rich. “Just like it’s a barrier to living an authentic life as a person. I was on the receiving end of some consensus and disagreement about my work. Neither of which really affects me as an artist because every time I’m lucky enough to create something I learn from the process. From what I have achieved [at]and what I missed [at]. But this learning process is a very intimate affair. Anything beyond that, to me, is just part of the ecosystem that exists because of the nature of the industry we’re in. Like a flower or a stone, I recognize and appreciate their presence. But that’s all.”

Released at a time when the coronavirus pandemic had been disrupting the world for nearly two years, Zhao wasn’t surprised that opinions about her story were divided by troubled heroes trying to find their place and purpose in the cosmos . “eternal was planned to be released soon after endgame, and not at a time when everyone is in an existential crisis,” she says. “The film itself is about an existential crisis, both for humanity and for God. So I think we definitely felt it coming.”

Zhao also spoke about how the film was received in relation to her previous work – including nomand land and indie favorite The driver – and the assumption that essential elements of eternal was more a product of the “Marvel process” than she was as a filmmaker. “When people feel like they need to put things in order, they need to understand it by putting it in boxes,” she says. “It’s not about us, it’s about them. And I say that lovingly, because they have a certain level of comfort [with] how their entertainment and their world – their beloved Marvel or their beloved indie filmmaker – works. This is the order of their world’s logic that is being disrupted. So I appreciate their passion for trying to make sense of it.”

She continues, “The truth is, no one is a shift. In this case, we really stepped out of the box I think the world has put us in and met right in the middle because of our common interests. And from really This made it uncomfortable for many people on both sides. But there are also people who feel more comfortable with the order in their world [being] disturbed. And then they look at our beloved child and say, “Oh! It touches different sides of me!’ I like it. So I totally understand the division that comes from critics and fans. Because if you take this to the extreme that’s seen as an opposition – the world I come from and the world of Marvel that was divided in such an unfair and unfortunate way – and bring it together the way we did, see I actually took the reaction as proof of how fused we were; how uncomfortable that might make people feel.”

Empire - May 2022 cover

Read rich‘s full interview with Chloé Zhao – talk eternal‘Seismic twists, surprise cameos and Star Wars influences – in the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Edition available Thursday March 17th and available to pre-order online here. eternal is now streaming on Disney+ and is also available on DVD, Blu-ray, 4K and digital.

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