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Eternals director Chloé Zhao was inspired by Denis Villeneuve’s Dune for IMAX

Zhao was able to watch an early cut of Dune to understand Villeneuve's craft

Angelina Jolie in Eternals

We enjoy Denis Villeneuve’s Dune at The Digital Fix, and it appears the science fiction movie was a resource for other movies. Chloé Zhao says watching it helped shape Eternals for the MCU, particularly in regards to shooting in IMAX.

“Even when I was working on IMAX for Eternals, I asked him if it was OK for me to watch Dune. I knew he did incredible things in IMAX, so I knew I could learn from him. He was so generous; he was like, ‘Yes’,” Zhao tells The Hollywood Reporter. “He also gave me other references to look at. So I actually find a lot of strength in our films coming out at the same time and to have a colleague who I respect and love and to be able to go through this together and to hug each other at Venice [International Film Festival] when Dune came out.”

Zhao and Villeneuve’s movies are linked by more than filmmaking technique and mutual respect – their original release dates were in November 2020. Now, a full year later, they’re still both out at the same time.

Unfortunately, their reactions a little more divided. Dune has done very well critically, Steph Green calling it “an astronomically impressive film” in her review for us. Meanwhile, our Emma-Jane Betts says Eternals is an “an ambitious and fresh Marvel movie, but never really finds its stride”.

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Eternals stars Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Angelina Jolie, Barry Keoghan, and many more, as the titular group of alien superheroes. They must battle the evil Deviants for the fate of mankind, in an epic chapter of the MCU that spans the history of planet Earth. Let it never be said Marvel films have no stakes!

Both Dune and Eternals are in theatres now.