The world and critics have just started to acclaim Shang-chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Marvel’s next movie release is already around the corner. Eternals, being Marvel’s 26th film is set to bring an ensemble of stars who are not only critically praised, but adored by fans as well. But while Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Kit Harington and Salma Hayek have got us on the edge of our seats, it is Chloe Zhao who manages to steal the spotlight.
The director eased into the Marvel Cinematic Universe because of her incredible work with Nomadland, and it is no shocker that she comes with her own set of idiosyncrasies when it comes to pitching scripts.
We have known Angelina Jolie for her superb work in the Hollywood hits, Gone in 60 seconds, Sky Captain, Alexander, Wanted, Magnificent and its sequel and many more. Not taking her voice-overs in other animation movies into account, the beloved Jolie has appeared barely in a couple of movies in over a decade. And now, after this soft hiatus, seeing her enter the MCU and commit to a role as authentic and rigorous as Thena’s, is nothing short of a delight.
Fortunately enough, it was Chloe Zhao’s job to convince Jolie to be a part of the film. And if Zhao is capable of bringing Frances McDormand into her film and winning herself an Oscar, this must’ve been a piece of cake. Or rather, candy.
Yes, that’s right. Angelina Jolie recently revealed that Chloe pitched her Eternals with [“candy” and the star says that’s what had her “sold”. Rumors are that Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige called it “the best pitch” he’s ever heard.
Angelina Jolie has been a fan of Chloe Zhao for a while now. Her early films, particularly Songs My Brothers Taught Me, have had a huge influence on the Oscar winner, and that only made her entering MCU more interesting.
“I loved her first film (Songs My Brothers Taught Me), and I knew that she would bring something special to this”
Angelina was still kept in the dark about the plot and synopsis of the movie when she was invited to the pitch, but we know that is just how Marvel likes to roll. In an interview surrounding the November release of the movie, she added,
“It’s a unique experience joining the Marvel world. You are asked to come in, but they don’t tell you anything about the story or the role you are being asked to play. You walk in, past the uniforms of the characters on the walls, wondering what they have in mind for you.”
She further went on to reveal that Zhao “charmed” her by using candy in her pitch to demonstrate different human civilizations on the map. And they were designed in a way that designated their arrival as the movie advanced. The actress who plays the role of Thena said she was “sold” right then and there. She said:
“As they described who Thena was and her arc, I was very happy they asked me to play her”, she said.
In her long career, Angelina Jolie has been a part of various productions and worked with remarkable directors. Hence, her agreement in teaming up with Marvel Studios heavily depended on how Chloe and Kevin presented the movie to her. While it was not an easy feat keeping her in the dark about what she’d be doing in the movie initially, it was totally worth it to have her together in ending the exceptional Phase 4.
As for the use of candy in pitching the story, we’re still unsure of whether they symbolised landscapes or civilizations, but it is clear Zhao is telling the story of human history, dating almost 7000 years back in time. While being precise and notable, her ways seem to bring forth a promising and compelling tale.
We know from the recent trailer of Eternals that Angelina Jolie is playing the role of Thena, a woman who lands herself in trouble after unintentionally showing off her powers. With Zhao’s unmatched talent and Jolie’s experience, we’re definitely in for an impactful film, adding onto a series of impactful Marvel movies.
The hype around the film will stay high until and after November, which is when Eternals is set to release. Fans like us have only excitement and nerves to see Jolie turn Zhao’s story into a beautiful reality and make a place for them in the MCU.