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It's time to open your mind to the mind-blowing cosmic secrets behind the making of Chloé Zhao's Eternals in the latest installment of Marvel Studios: Assembled series of documentary specials. Now streaming on Disney+, the hour-long peek behind the MCU curtain chronicles everything — from the writing of the script all the way down to what a diverse team of heroes means for audiences around the globe.
Sadly, there are no mentions of Harry Styles appearing as Eros or Mahershala Ali's small audio cameo as Blade. Nevertheless, we continue to press on against the grandiose mysteries impressed upon us by the Celestials in all their infinite wisdom. Where were we going with this again? Uhhh...in any case, while we wait for Arishem to determine whether humanity is worth saving, head below for six fun production facts we learned from the making of Eternals!
The screenwriters had A LOT of material to mine
Co-screenwriters (and real-world cousins) Kaz and Ryan Firpo found themselves proverbially drowning in paperwork when they first boarded the film. "We were given 800 pages of research," he reveals in the documentary. "All the comics, every graphic novel, everything about this universe...here you go, go make up a movie. We spent four [or] five weeks really thinking and bashing our heads against the wall and coming up with this world." The script ended up being a mixture of the original comics written and drawn by Jack Kirby and the mid-2000s run by Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr.
The Deviants straddle the border between known and unknown
More animalistic than their comic book counterparts, the Deviants in the film resemble giant tentacled lizards. At the start of the process, VFX Supervisor Stephane Cretti and his team "started looking at ancient monsters from old stories — from the Greeks and the Egyptians. Chloé wanted something very unique. We wanted to have something that was alien, but also had shapes that we could recognize." Looking at ancient cultures was a stroke of genius. If the Eternals influenced the course of human history, then their sworn enemies would have done the same thing, fueling folklore of evil beasts passed down through the centuries.
Angelina Jolie didn't know she'd have ALL the weapons
Since Thena is the most experienced warrior of the group, Jolie constantly asked about what her weapon of choice was going to be. "[It's] complicated when you're preparing or training," she says. "I kept asking what my weapon was gonna be so I could practice with it and I would just get weapons sent to me, but I kept getting so many weapons. Until I realized it was gonna be a combination of all of them."
Angelina Jolie is a fan of The Walking Dead
Another Jolie fun fact out of the MCU: she watches The Walking Dead. Per Lauren Ridloff (Makkari) the world-renowned actress approached her at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019 when the film and cast were first announced in Hall H by Kevin Feige. and said she was a big fan of the show. "Angelina Jolie came up to me and she told me she was a fan of The Walking Dead," signs Ridloff, who plays Connie on AMC's long-running zombie show. "I was flabbergasted, I couldn't even imagine."
Funnily enough, her character was missing for the majority of TWD Season 10 because Ridloff was busy shooting Eternals.
The Domo is meant to look weird to the human eye
Similar to the Deviants, the Eternals' monolithic space ship was designed to appear totally alien to us humans. "This was a real challenge because when I started, I read the Eternals had been created by the Celestials a million years ago," says production designer Eve Stewart. "So it can't be a spaceship like all of the ones you love in the Ridley Scott films. And then this spaceship has been lying dormant, theoretically, on Earth for the last 7,000 years. I felt it couldn't have any proper reference to human technology."
Since the titular beings were created by literal gods, Stewart also looked at world religions and the symbols used across them. "I just felt that it was such a kind of spiritual place for these people ... So I started to look at sacred geometry, the way shapes work throughout all the religions across the world. Any religion loves a circle, all religions love a triangle, so I was trying to put those together. The exterior of the ship became triangular quite quickly just because of aerodynamics. But also, Chloé and I discussed how triangles and circles fit together in Christianity, in Islam, and in Asian culture. It became a very kind of global thing that we went for."
A triangular shape for the Domo got the thumbs up from scientists "because triangular planes can also create a vertical lift if you get enough energy around all the points."
Eternals is now available to stream on Disney+.