Eternals Director Chloé Zhao Was Working On The Film Right Up To The Premiere [Exclusive]

Remember the other day when I was just talking about how filmmakers would pretty much rather put the finishing touches on their films right up until the moment of release than walk away from their baby and, for better or worse, declare the final cut to be finished and ready to go? Well, we can safely consider "Eternals" director Chloé Zhao to be a staunch advocate of tinkering with her work for as long as humanly possible to get it as perfect as it can be. Marvel Studios, of course, has a pre-established history of continuing to shape their films until the last (almost literal) second. Remember when 2012's "The Avengers" held its world premiere for critics without the notable inclusion of that delightful shawarma-themed post credits scene? That was only filmed in the brief window of time between the premiere and its wide release in theaters, which is an extreme example of the lengths Marvel is willing to got to.

Zhao didn't go quite that far, but she reveals in an exclusive interview with /Film that work on "Eternals" continued far later than many of us ever would've assumed.

'It Doesn't End'

"Eternals" held its world premiere in Los Angeles on October 18, 2021, unleashing a flood of early reactions that ran the gamut from "masterpiece" to slightly more tempered responses such as,  " why is it still just misfit spandex people fighting bad CG for 3 hours." Between that and the almost shockingly low Rotten Tomatoes score, your mileage on this one, it seems, may vary! In any case, few of the viewers in attendance likely assumed that the film was still in the works up until a week earlier ... but according to director Chloé Zhao, that's precisely what happened. In an interview with /Film's Hoai-Tran Bui, Zhao reveals just how long she was putting in the work to fine-tune every aspect of "Eternals."

"Let me tell you something, we finished 'Eternals' last week," Zhao said following the film's Los Angeles premiere. She continued:

It doesn't end. I believe the term we love is called 'plussing.' You have to drag me out of the...editing room, you have to drag me out of there because I will not stop until I have to show it."

While an accomplished and award-winning storyteller to this point, of course, Zhao hadn't yet tackled a film of the same scope and scale as "Eternals" until now. The many moving parts involved and the pressure-packed expectations could have easily made this an overwhelming production, but Zhao seems to have acquitted herself well for a first-timer and injected some much-needed personality into the larger MCU. The rest of us will find out whether all that hard work paid off soon enough, as "Eternals" comes to theaters later this week, on November 5, 2021.