‘Eternals’ Director Reveals A ‘Batman’ Reference Is In The MCU Film

Batman and Superman are part of the MCU. Kind of.

Eternals Batman Superman MCU Chloe Zhao

Eternals director Chloe Zhao revealed how she was able to name-drop Superman and Batman in the film and what these references mean for the MCU.

One of the latest promos for Eternals features Richard Madden’s Ikaris being told by a child that he’s Superman. Ikaris sports some of the same abilities as Superman, such as flying and shooting laser beams. The moment, played in quick, comical jest, quickly became a trending topic as it solidified that Superman and the DC Universe existed within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Director Chloe Zhao previously touched upon the topic but has now revealed how she got the reference in the film.

Chatting with Variety, Chloe Zhao revealed how the Superman reference was her idea and how she got MCU architect Kevin Feige to sign off on it.

“I take responsibility for that.”

“You write it on the page, show it to Kevin, if he doesn’t say anything, that’s a go. I don’t think there was a conversation. Not really, except, he goes, ‘Oh, that’s cool.’”

One of Eternals‘ biggest themes is how it works and plays around with the mythology surrounding superheroes. Seeing as the Eternals have been on Earth for over 7,000 years, it would be difficult to imagine them not joining our zeitgeist in one way or another. When it came to incorporating a Superman reference in the film, Zhao touched upon how Superman the Marvel characters are modern interpretations of age-old myths.

“We’re playing on a genre that draws so much from mythology, and Superman, for example, was created in the comics and also by these brilliant filmmakers along the way — they’re modern reinterpretations of a mythical characters that exist in different cultures. Ikaris is our interpretation of it. It doesn’t mean we can’t pay tribute to the really iconic version that we’ve all grown to love and has influenced us.”

Chloe Zhao also revealed how another DC character is name-dropped in the film. There’s a scene in which Batman and his butler Alfred are explicitly mentioned, once again confirming that the DC mythos exists in the MCU.

“Gilgamesh and Phastos, they all got into certain aspects of human life, whether it’s cooking, pop culture, movie loving. So they pick out the things about humans that they love the most — aspect of us that are quite extraordinary. And for Gilgamesh, he watches ‘Batman.’ So when he sees someone’s valet, he goes, ‘Ah, I know!’ Because he loves Batman, like so many of us.”

The scene in question involves Gilgamesh meeting Kingo’s valet Varun and calling him “Alfred”, a clear nod towards Batman’s butler.

Here is the synopsis for Eternals:

“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 will hit theaters on November 5, 2021. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the upcoming MCU film and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.

Source: Variety