Marvel's development of a film project based on Jack Kirby's The Eternals is moving into the next stage, as a director has now joined the film.
Earlier this year, as Avengers: Infinity War was making its way out into the world, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige teased the Eternals — a group of nearly immortal superpowered beings created by Celestials who live in hidden cities on Earth and even move among the stars — as a potential future franchise for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That tease was followed a month later by the news that Matthew and Ryan Firpo (Ruin) had been tapped by the studio to write a script for the project. Now a director has boarded.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, acclaimed indie director Chloe Zhao (Songs My Brother Taught Me) has landed the Eternals job, beating out other contenders who included Travis Knight (Bumblebee), Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra (Birds of Passage), and Nicole Kassell (who directed the pilot for HBO's upcoming Watchmen series). Zhao was one of the directors vying for Marvel's upcoming Black Widow solo movie, and while she lost out on that job to Cate Shortland, the studio was apparently impressed enough with her to hand her this project instead.
Not much is known about the Eternals script so far, but THR's report notes that sources tell them a love story between the characters Ikaris and Sersi is in the cards, and that the project presents plenty of opportunities for diversity for the studio.
There's also still no word on when we might actually see the film, as much of the MCU slate post-Avengers 4 is still rather murky beyond Spider-Man: Far From Home, Black Widow, a Black Panther sequel, and the delayed-but-still-probably-on-its-way-at-some-point Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Marvel is no doubt looking to expand its franchise holdings after that, though, and since the Inhumans were used in a poorly received ABC television series, the Eternals could fill the need for another superteam in the universe.