Director Chloe Zhao made history at the Academy Awards this year by being the second woman and first woman of color ever to bring home a Best Director statue in the show’s 93 years of presenting. This also means Zhao is the first Oscar-winning director to work in the MCU–and, according to a profile published by , the studio has fully embraced her signature style.
During the early days of Eternals pitching and development, Zhao fought to keep the sprawling sci-fi movie grounded and practical wherever possible. According to Marvel boss Kevin Feige, practical locations were a must for the director’s process. Zhao cut a sample reel for Disney’s higher-ups, and during the presentation, Feige impressed upon the room that it was “right out of the camera” with “no VFX work at all.”