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Chloé Zhao On The Gay Plot Of ‘Eternals’

Eternals is called to be a full stop in the Marvel Universe. Beyond introducing a whole new group of superheroes at once (and doing it with the help of an entire Oscar winner, Chloé Zhao ), the next MCU film has already grabbed headlines for the promise of an openly gay character.and to include an explicit sex scene: two elements so far nonexistent in Kevin Feige’s machinery. Sadly, both can present problems for the international distribution of Eternals., especially due to the homophobic regulations that govern some of the markets where Disney wants to enter, be it Russia or China. A business requirement that, in the past, has led to self-censorship.

Angelina Jolie as Thena in ‘Eternals’
Will the same happen with Eternals ? Zhao, director of Nomadland, hopes not, and assures that she has the support of Marvel in her decision to preserve the gay plot . “I don’t know all the details but I think there have already been negotiations and there is a great desire on my part and on Marvel’s part not to change the montage.

Fingers crossed , ”he declares for IndieWire . Marvel’s first homosexual protagonist is Phastos ( Brian Tyree Henry), one of the Eternals who has lived on Earth for centuries, and who has a husband and a son as a result of whom he has strengthened his ties with humanity. In fact, as Zhao points out, the presence of this family is essential for the character’s arc, making it difficult to edit it abroad.

“The way the Phastos story unfolds in the film is that of someone who only sees humanity as general and believes that technology can solve everything,” says Zhao. “Obviously he has lost faith in us because of the hard things we have done, but then he sees a person he falls in love with, and a child, and he regains faith in humanity . “

Tyree Henry’s character was already conceived as gay when Zhao joined the project, and the filmmaker saw great narrative possibilities in him. “It’s like us when we watch the news and we think there is no hope and then we go home, we see our partner and children and we think ‘well, there are actually things worth fighting for.’

“Putting that family in that specific situation… the audience has to feel it for them to care. If not, it doesn’t make sense to put it on the screen ”, he insists. Another scene that will have to talk is the one in which two protagonists appear having sex. Zhao has said that it was also written that way in the script before it arrived, and sees totally logical that something like this happened in Marvel, sooner or later and taking into account how advanced the superhero genre is. “There were a lot of discussions about how to do it. But I think the desire to do something different is very natural considering where Marvel Studios is now, “he says.

“I think it’s like when westerns entered the revisionist period of the 70s. I think it’s happening with superhero movies, or at least we’re at that limit . ” The scene, therefore, is not gratuitous in any way, and serves to “show two people who love each other, not only emotionally and intellectually but also physically, and to have a sex scene that will be seen by many people and shows love, compassion and tenderness… I think it’s something precious ”. Eternals opens this November 5 .

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