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Chloe Zhao Confirms ‘Eternals’ Makes A ‘Superman’ Reference And Explains Why

While we’ll never say never when it comes to the possibility of the DC cinematic universe and Marvel cinematic universe one day colliding in a cape-filled showdown of epic proportions, as it stands now it does seem pretty farfetched. However, just because the two studios are owned by different parent companies and are in a pretty contentious rivalry with one another doesn’t mean the film’s directors can’t have a bit of fun slyly acknowledging the other one exists, right? Right.

In an exclusive interview with Comicbook, Eternals director Chloe Zhao admitted she did just that, placing a pretty apparent Superman reference within her debut Marvel film. According to the outlet, the scene occurs when Ikaris (Richard Madden) and Sersi (Gemma Chan) reunite with fellow Eternal Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry). Upon seeing Ikaris, Phastos’ son says, “Dad, that’s Superman! With the cape, and you were shooting laser beams out of your eyes!” However, Ikaris dismisses the rumor, responding with a quick, “I don’t wear a cape.” Zhao has now confirmed the young boy was, in fact, referencing that Superman, and proceeded to explain why:

“I take some responsibility for that. I think we’re in the business of telling stories about mythology, and Superman, for example, comes from origin of mythology. In many different cultures, there’s a form of Superman. And the people that created Superman and the brilliant filmmakers [who] brought Superman to screen, their movies are basically, in my opinion, doing a modern interpretation of that mythology.”

You gotta admit, Zhao’s reasoning makes complete sense given the Eternals intense emphasis on history, mythology, and an ever-expanding multiverse. It’s also just nice to hear that the folks working at Marvel still appreciate what the folks over at DC are doing with their stories. While Zhao certainly isn’t the first to pay tribute (in fact, Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige has actually admitted he watches Superman: The Movie before the start of production on most Marvel movies because it’s “the archetype of the perfect superhero film origin story”), it’s pretty cool to see Marvel studio’s newest addition to their directing team is already eager to spread some love.

“It doesn’t mean we can’t pay tribute and have a good time with these iconic ones that we all love to so much,” Zhao said. “I mean, who doesn’t love Superman and Batman? Clearly our Eternals like them.”

Eternals, starring Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayak, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Barry Keoghan, Kit Harington, and Angelina Jolie, opens exclusively in theaters on November 5.