Editor’s Note: The below article contains spoilers for “Eternals.”
Academy Award-winning director Chloé Zhao revealed some behind-the-scenes details about her first Marvel film’s original ending and the teaser for Mahershala Ali as vampire-slaying Blade.
In an interview with Empire in December 2021, Zhao, 39, admitted that her original ending of “Eternals” was gloomier than what fans are used to seeing in most Marvel movies.
Zhao said that the part where the heroes – or at least, what is left of the team – are teleported to an undisclosed location far away from Earth was not her first choice for an ending. She explained that the characters “actually had another ending that is really bleak.”
“It used to end with everybody back on the ship, minds erased and just going on to another planet, like ‘The Twilight Zone,’” the Beijing-born director said. “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.” However, Zhao admitted that her original ending would not have worked when factoring in the post-credits scene that introduces Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fans to Eros, Thanos’ brother, who English singer-songwriter Harry Styles is set to play. “I had been wanting to bring Eros into the MCU,” Zhao said. “So I kept mentioning it to Kevin [Feige] at every chance I had in the hallway, because I love the idea of Eros being another Eternal, another Ajak.”
Zhao also teased Marvel fans with the arrival of vampire slayer Blade, played by Mahershala Ali. “In just the little time I spent with Mahershala, I can’t wait for the Blade movie to come out,” she said. “It’s going to be epic.”
Blade was teased in one of “Eternals”’ post-credits scenes where the character’s voice suddenly pops up in the background after Kit Harrington’s Dane Whitman, also known as the Black Knight, opens the box containing the cursed Ebony Blade.
Released in the U.S. on Nov. 5, 2021, Marvel’s “Eternals” will be available digitally on Jan. 12 via Disney Plus and on Blu-ray and DVD starting Feb. 15.