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Eternals: Writers say Studio Ghibli films inspired director Chloe Zhao

The MCU film tells the story of an immortal race of heroes who emerge to protect the Earth against a grave threat

Shilpa S
Nov 15, 2021
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Marvel’s Eternals has been making waves ever since its release, becoming a fan favourite. Director Chloe Zhao too has been the recipient of widespread praise, and the filmmaker seems to have tapped into some unique sources for inspiration.

In conversation with Polygon the film’s writers, Kaz and Ryan Firpo talked in length about how Zhao took inspiration from Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli movies for the MCU film. The studio's 2001 film Spirited Away in particular, was used many times during their brainstorming sessions with the director. The Studio Ghibli film had won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

The Firpos pointed to the ‘moral grey areas’ that are found in most of Miyazaki’s films, and said that Eternals too had tried to incorporate such moral conundrums to highlight the humanity of the heroes.

They said that the film’s superhero protagonists were made to face questions of their morality and self worth in the film, something unprecedented in the genre. The heroes in the film asked themselves the question of whether they were truly worthy of their powers and their responsibility to protect humanity.

The Firpos also mentioned how they had tried to use the tragic incident of the Hiroshima bombing too, to explore the characters' moral challenges. Studio Ghibli too had explored the themes of war and its consequences in its 1988 film Grave of the Fireflies.

Marvel’s Eternals tells the story of a race of immortal beings who have been on Earth for centuries. When a grave threat looms on the horizon, they emerge to protect the planet and its inhabitants.

The movie was released in Indian theatres on November 5, 2021.

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