Marvel’s Eternals: Chloé Zhao Only Needed 25 Minutes To Film the MCU’s First Sex Scene
It’s hard to believe given that there have been nearly 30 movies and several TV shows, but sex has never really appeared in the MCU. That’s changing in the Eternals, releasing today, which features a “very mature love story” between two of its protagonists.
Warning! Major spoilers for The Eternals are ahead!
In The Eternals, heroes Ikaris [Richard Madden] and Sersi [Gemma Chan] fall in love in Ancient Babylon, where they consummate their relationship. Naturally, their 21st century reunion dredges up old emotions between them, which quickly becomes one of the focal points for the group’s emotional conflicts.
Speaking with IGN, director Chloé Zhao talked about how that romance took shape in Eternals, and how she approached the sex scene between the two.
“It was written into the script because it’s a very mature love story,” Zhao said. “We wanted to show them physically loving each other. The actors, Gemma and Richard, asked ‘Oh, we can do this for an MCU film?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I think so.'”
Zhao then explained how the scene was constructed.
“Obviously we wanted to do it in a way that really communicated love, so we did it in the most beautiful time of the day,” Zhaos said. “Props to the both of them because it’s a very short window of time, like 25 minutes, and then once we put it together we showed them the scene, and right away they thought it was really beautiful, and there was no discussion after that.”
In the course of the interview, Zhao also discussed the two post-credits scenes featuring Black Knight, revealing that she pitched her ideas directly Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige.
“I directed both the post-credit scenes and pitched these ideas to Kevin because I got really excited about Pip the Troll and Eros and their relationship, and also Black Knight,” Zhao said. “Also, Eros’ origin on Titan as an Eternal, how he might have affected Thanos the same way these Eternals affected earthlings. So it was very exciting.”
The Eternals is out now, and while it has received mixed reviews from critics, it opened with a solid overseas box office take of $8.5 million. Our own review by Amelia Emberwing called the film “huge,” but noted that the story “gets unwieldy when it shifts into a cosmic scale.”
For more Eternals coverage, make sure to check out our explanation of the Black Knight and Kit Harington’s future in the MCU and of Harry Styles’ Starfox from the post credits scenes. We also take a deep dive into Eternals’ ending, along with all the major Eternals easter eggs.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN