Superman in The Eternals? Yes, the Man Of Steel is cited, in the new MCU movie, by Richard Madden aka Ikaris which has many powers in common with the myth of DC.
The Oscar winner Chloe Zhao (Nomadland, The Rider) explains who Superman is in the MCU and tells us how much she was marked by Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel.
Chloe Zhao: He’s whatever you want him to be (laughs). In this sequence, he seems to exist in pop culture. But we never know.
We take away that Ikaris could have been the inspiration for the creation of Superman in the comic books.
It’s you who say it, not me! Superman is the Übermensch, the ultimate man, the superman, a concept that exists in all cultures. Of all modern interpretations of Superman, this is Zack Snyder’s with Man of steel which inspired me the most because he approached this myth in an authentic and very real way. I remember thinking it was Superman by Terrence Malick when I saw the trailer. This film left a strong impression on me. But Ikaris is of course our own take on Superman.
Was it easy to place Superman in the Eternals?
There was no hesitation. I write my ideas in the script, Kevin Feige reads them and validates or not. As far as Superman is concerned, I don’t remember any particular blockage. Kevin just said “Wow that’s cool”. This film is a tribute to superheroes, a genre that I love so much.
To be honest, my first meeting was with Nate Moore (producer). He asked me to read this story of the Eternals. I read it, I loved it and I went back to see them with a pitch (synopsis) to convince Kevin Feige to hire me. This first “pitch meeting” was one of the most stressful of my life, especially since I was a big fan of Kevin. I drenched it for two and a half hours. He had no choice but to hire me (laughs).
Why do you think they chose you? From here it feels like the MCU is looking for new ways to tell its stories.
Kevin is brilliant. He’s constantly reinventing the MCU. More than any other, he understood that this is the only way for this kind of survival. Especially after the conclusion of the Infinity War saga. This is the perfect time to expand into other horizons.
(Chloé Zhao in interview with Filmsatu)
Yes. Several times even.
Which is your favorite?
How involved is Kevin Feige in the making of the film? Is he omnipresent on the script, the casting, the shooting, the editing? Have you had so much supervision changed from shoots like those of The Rider or Nomadland?
Certainly there were more people watching me this time around (laughs). But the wonderful thing about this process is that it has been a true collaboration. I am an MCU fan. More than anything, I wanted to make a Marvel movie with the themes that are dear to me. It was important for me to collaborate with Kevin and Nate Moore who are at the head of this universe. And when they weren’t there, I was the one calling them asking for feedback. It’s the same with smaller films. I have collaborated so closely with non-professional actors on The Rider and Nomadland because I entered their universe. These films exist because I have worked with those who live on the road to Nomadland and with these authentic cowboys for The Rider. Of course I bring my own life experience but the result is on screen, it’s 50/50. Now that I integrate Marvel, I collaborate in the same way.
The Eternals presents Marvel’s first gay superhero. Is it a victory for you?
It was in my original pitch. Marvel has always wanted to go in this direction. My job is to make this moment meaningful and emotional. I am so proud that it ends up in a Marvel movie because it will reach the widest possible audience.
The idea is not to touch the film regardless of the country. I keep my fingers crossed for this to happen. It’s an important moment in the history of the MCU.
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