Marvel Director Chloe Zhao is a Fan of the Snyderverse

in Marvel, Movies

Chloe Zhao in front of the Eternals logo

Credit: Marvel

Acclaimed director Chloe Zhao recently revealed her ten favorite movies in a list compiled by IndieWire, and there were plenty of surprises, including a polarizing film from Zack Snyder.

(L-R): Richard Madden and director Chloé Zhao on the set of Marvel Studios' ETERNALS. Photo by Sophie Mutevelian. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Although she has only directed four feature films, director Chloe Zhao has become one of the most acclaimed filmmakers of the 21st Century. Zhao started out making short films but garnered critical attention with Songs My Brother Taught Me (2015) and The Rider (2017).

However, nothing stood out more than Nomadland (2020). Starring Frances McDormand, the film earned Zhao a Golden Globe, Directors Guild Award, and Academy Award for Best Director as well as the Oscar for Best Picture. This success led to Zhao directing and writing the Marvel Studios feature Eternals (2021).

Recently, IndieWire compiled a list of Chloe Zhao’s favorite movies based on interviews she has done throughout her career. And while there were some surprises, nothing was more surprising than her love for Man of Steel (2013).

‘Man of Steel’ Left a “Strong Impression” on Chloe Zhao

Henry Cavill as Superman
Credit: Warner Bros.

While Zack Snyder’s DC films have proved divisive amongst fans, Chloe Zhao is firmly on the positive side of the Snyderverse coin. In fact, she lists Man of Steel as one of her favorite movies ever. Not only did she compare the style of the movie to her favorite director Terrence Malick, but she also said that Henry Cavill’s version of Superman inspired her take on Richard Madden’s Ikaris.

According to Zhao, “[Zack Snyder] approached this myth in an authentic and very real way. I remember thinking it was ‘Superman’ by Terrence Malick when I saw the trailer. This film left a strong impression on me.”

Chloe Zhao’s Other Favorite Movies

nomadland set chloe zhao (left) and frances mcdormand (right)
Credit: ABC News

However, the article wasn’t just about Zhao’s love for the Snyderverse. She also shared eight other movies and a TV show that have stuck with her. Here’s the li,st along with her thoughts on each film.

‘Blade Runner 2049’ (2017)

A lot of feet in Blade Runner 2049
Credit: Waner Bros. Pictures/Sony Pictures

Related: Harrison Ford Couldn’t Resist ‘Indiana Jones 5,’ Needed One More Adventure

“Every detail, structure, colors, how is this character interacting with the location. All of that says so much about that character.”

‘Interstellar’ (2014)

Jessica Chastain in Interstellar
Credit: Paramount Pictures / Warner Bros.

“I didn’t cry the first time I watched it. But between when that film first came out and where we are in the world, as a human being on this planet, I sobbed by the end, this time. I think in another ten years when you watch Interstellar, it’s going to take a whole different meaning about our relationship with the planet, our planet’s relationship with the cosmos, and what’s the destiny of humanity.”

‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers’ (2002)

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn
Credit: New Line Cinema

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“The landscapes, the epic battles, it makes you fall in love with these characters and root for them in their struggles.”

‘Wuthering Heights’ (2011)

Wuthering Heights 2011
Credit: Curzon Artificial Eye

“[Director Andrea Arnold] has a very strong sense of place. When you watch ‘Wuthering Heights,’ you know this filmmaker isn’t just staring at her actor. She’s constantly looking. ‘What else around us can we capture?’ And the way the characters are interacting with this place says so much of their innocence and love for each other.”

‘The New World’ (2005)

Q'orianka Kilcher in The New World
Credit: New Line /Everett Collection

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“I left home and I came to a country where I didn’t speak the language. So much of my youth is watching people without understanding what they’re saying. There’s one moment in the film that has such a huge impact on me as a filmmaker, the way that he contrasted [Pocahontas] ‘s imminent passing with the joyous expression she’s giving. He’s captured an essence about mortality and where we belong.”

‘Into the Abyss’ (2011)

Into the Abyss directed by Werner Herzog
Credit: Sundance Selects/Everett Collection

“The film is a heavy subject, but that’s not what the film is about. That’s what the genius of Werner Herzog is, it’s always about more. It shows you how much life can shock you, and how magnificent it is to be alive in the most bittersweet way.”

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ (1997-2003)

Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Related: Yep, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Has Officially Been Rebooted!

“It was everything for me, for a few years in college. Vampires, witchcraft, teen romance, I mean, what else do you want?”

‘Happy Together’ (1997)

Two man on roof tops in Happy Together (1997)
Credit: Kino International/Everett Collection

In an interview with USA Today, Chloe Zhao credits the Chinese romance Happy Together as “the movie that made me want to make movies.”

‘The Terminator’ (1984)

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator 1984
Credit: Orion Pictures Corp/Courtesy Everett Collection

Related: All the ‘Terminator’ Movies Ranked Worst to Best

James Cameron’s The Terminator was the first American film Chloe Zhao had ever seen, soon followed by Sister Act (1992) and Ghost (1990). “I was like, ‘Holy (expletive), that looks crazy.”

Which of these movies surprised you the most? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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