Eternals director Chloe Zhao revealed the Marvel film’s original, more somber ending.
While Eternals may not have been the critical darling that Marvel Studios had expected, the film did end with director Chloe Zhao teasing the future of her cosmic characters. Half of the crew ended up on the Eternals ship Domo in search of other Eternals, while the others were abducted by the Celestial Arishem for stopping the Emergence. The cliffhanger made it clear that Marvel had plans for these characters, even though a sequel might not be in the works.
Despite the clear intention to move forward with the cosmic characters, it turns out that director Chloe Zhao originally had different plans for them. Much different. Speaking with Empire Online, Zhao detailed how she originally envisioned the film having a darker, more somber ending.
“I have never made a film where the ending is what I wrote! You find it in the edit. Editing is a third of the filmmaking process, and when you show it to people, that’s when you find the ending. I don’t think I’ve made a single film where the opening and ending stay the same as the script, just because the scenes are fluid as we shoot. And we actually had another ending that is really bleak. Bleak. I didn’t hate it, because I’m used to films that are more melancholy. But I don’t think it went down well with audiences.”
“It used to end with everybody back on the ship, minds erased and just going on to another planet, like The Twilight Zone. I remember when it goes to black, everyone was like, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ And also, it’s the MCU, and you want to be excited for what’s next.”
It’s unknown if this ending was actually filmed or just planned but honestly, it would’ve been amazing. Eternals definitely went in a direction that polarized Marvel fans and it was all the better for taking risks. While it’s clear that this ending wouldn’t allow for more stories with these characters, it’s definitely on-brand for Zhao’s style and would have set the film even further apart from the MCU.
Here is the synopsis for the MCU film:
The story takes place across two time periods. One storyline is set in the past when they operated as a formidable team and a close family unit. The second storyline is in the present, when the group has fractured and split apart, content to live among humans, hiding in plain sight. The prevailing threat of the Deviants, which once again threatens the existence of mankind, means the Eternals need to put their differences aside and regroup.
Chloe Zhao directed Eternals from a script she co-wrote with Patrick Burleigh, Kaz Firpo, and Ryan Firpo. The cast of the Marvel Studios project includes Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Barry Keoghan as Druig, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, Salma Hayek as Ajak, and Angelina Jolie as Thena.
Eternals is now in theaters. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the future of the film’s characters, new MCU projects on Disney Plus, and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content!
Source: Empire Online