There were so many things we enjoyed about Eternals, but it is safe to say that it ended up being one of Marvel’s most divisive films. It had the unenviable tasks of building the world Post-Endgame, retconning heroes into key events of said world, and explaining their absence during an all-hands-on-deck situation versus Thanos. As it turns out, it also had to set the tone for the conflict ahead in Captain America: New World Order and Thunderbolts (if some of what we’ve heard is to be believed). Now, with a new rumor suggesting that Chloé Zhao will not return to helm an Eternals sequel, we thought it made sense to look at five directors who could take over for her and deliver on the things that worked in the original while not repeating the things that didn’t.
The director of Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol and The Incredibles tops this list because of his experience with big ensembles, ability to craft action sequences and the talent to juggle the absurd with the serious when it comes to plots.
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
Everything Everywhere All At Once is, without question, one of the best films of 2022, and its directors deserve the opportunity to helm a big-budget adventure like Eternals 2. They, also, nailed the time-travel/Multiversal ideas of that film, which will come in handy as they navigate an Eternals sequel that could tap into those themes. Keep in mind that Marvel Studios already wanted them to direct Loki, so it’s not like Kevin Feige and Co. don’t know who they are.
Kevin Feige got his white whale when Harrison Ford agreed to take over as Thaddeus Ross following the death of William Hurt. Could he go big game hunting for the Eternals sequel? It’s definitely possible, but this isn’t the only reason Feige has to make the call. Spielberg’s ability to craft nuanced stories around dysfunctional family-like units would lend itself well to a group that is trying to find their kidnapped family members. There is, also, something kismet about Feige snagging the director of Close Encounters of the Third Kind after he basically shat all over superhero movies.
Fresh off delivering the incredible Obi-Wan Kenobi series for Disney+, there’s something poetic about a Chinese female director being replaced by another Chinese female director just as Marvel Studios talks about continuing to diversify their director suite. Chow crafted something fresh for Obi-Wan, and she was able to find a way to make people care about a character who we had seen so much of already. She respected the lore of Star Wars, all while really expanding the universe in very intriguing ways. Given the role that we believe Eternals will play in the MCU going forward, Chow could do the same for this part of the world.
The man responsible for giving us an actual Transformers movie and not whatever Michael Bay gave us, Travis Knight showed that he could juggle emotional beats and serious action in one film. However, it’s his work on Kubo and The Two Strings that make us excited about him potentially directing this. That movie brought some beautiful visuals to a really heartwarming story, and while you don’t want the next director to replicate everything Zhao did, you must admit that it was a stunning movie. Knight could do 70% of that while improving the action significantly.
Of course, at the moment there’s no indication that Eternals 2 is in the works or that Zhao wouldn’t be on board if it were. In that case, this could also just be a nice list of directors who we’d like to see working with Marvel Studios at some point down the road.