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Earlier this year, it was announced that Ava DuVernay is going to direct a New Gods feature film for Warner Bros, and while she’s still working on the project (even tweeting about it back in July with Logan Marshall-Green who has been lobbying to play Mister Miracle), Marvel Studios has decided to get into the Kirby Cosmic game as well.

While Marvel’s Phase Four is a TIGHTLY-held secret, rumors have floated to the fore that Marvel is looking to really expand upon the cosmic setting that had its initial introduction in Guardians of the Galaxy and has been elaborated upon in Thor: Ragnarok and Infinity War (as well as the upcoming Captain Marvel). But with Guardians Vol 3 off the schedule for the foreseeable future, the studio is looking to go far further into the infinite than ever before.

Today, it was announced that Chloe Zhao, the acclaimed independent filmmaker whose work in The Rider has been a critical darling this year, will be helming the studio’s live action take on Jack Kirby’s The Eternals.

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The concept, which is highly influenced by Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods, was one of the final major works of Kirby’s prolific auteur 70’s period. And while editorial interference and the need to envelop his “Eternals vs. Deviants” concept into the great Marvel Universe proved the title’s undoing, it’s still an extremely fertive concept that has only reappeared a few times – most notably in Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr’s miniseries revival. Though the Celestials, who first appeared in Kirby’s second issue of the series, have played a bigger role in the comics recently as well as appearing briefly in the first Guardians film.

According to THR, one major plot element looks to have already surfaced:

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that one aspect to the story involves the love story between Ikaris, a man fueled by cosmic energy, and Sersi, who relishes moving amongst humans.

Zhao is a wonderful filmmaker, so I’m delighted to see her step so firmly into the mainstream spotlight with such an inventive and exciting concept. Who knows? Maybe both The Eternals and New Gods might see release in the same year. The impact of two women of color adapting two of the King’s greatest works also cannot be understated. Very exciting days ahead.

 

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