Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland made history at the Oscars and, hey, speaking of making history, here’s the teaser for her big Marvel franchise: Eternals, about a race of super immortals who remain hidden among humanity helping make, well, history. The movie sports a spectacular cast (Angelina Jolie! Kumail Nanjiani! Salma Hayek! Gemma Chan! Bryan Tyree Henry! Kit Harington! Ma Dong-seok! Richard Madden!) and, based on this teaser, a sharp departure from Marvel Studios’ house aesthetic, favoring Zhao’s penchant for natural lighting.
The Eternals are a pretty obscure entity, even among Marvel Comics die-hards. Created by Marvel powerhouse Jack Kirby in the 70s, they were a small group of beings who showed up near the dawn of humanity and were tasked with subtly guiding our progress from behind. However, as the threats to humanity grow increasingly dire, the Eternals are forced to step out from the shadows to take a more active role in keeping the evil Deviants at bay (as well as dealing with some in-group drama).
All eyes are on Zhao here, whose two-step trajectory from low-budget arthouse wünderkind to helming a new project for Earth’s Mightiest Franchise has been astonishing. But her vision of humanity lends itself to a project that could easily lose sight of the people behind its god-like beings. It’ll be interesting to see how it fits in with whatever’s next for the MCU. We’ll see more in November.
Tyler Huckabee is RELEVANT's senior editor. He lives in Nashville with his wife, dog and Twitter account.