‘Eternals’: The MCU’s First Sex Scene Took Less Time to Film Than You Think

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding in various ways. Phase Four introduces new characters, cosmic entities, and stakes. Chloé Zhao’s Eternals does all three of those things, but it also breaks Hollywood barriers. This is the most representative superhero ensemble the MCU has seen yet. Zhao revealed in a recent interview how much time it took to capture the MCU’s first-ever sex scene. It’s much shorter than you think.

‘Eternals’ has the MCU’s first sex scene

'Eternals' Ikaris (Richard Madden) and Sersi (Gemma Chan) embracing each other in superhero costumes
L-R: Richard Madden and Gemma Chan | Marvel Studios/Disney

Eternals also brings the MCU’s first gay superhero. Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) is known for technological advancement. This power allows him to help humanity with this progress, but it also allows him to fight in combat. After the Eternals separate and live life around the world, he finds a loving husband. They live a beautiful life and are raising their young child together. Zhao’s MCU installment displays the love and humanity in these immortal superheroes.

Eternals introduces a sex scene that’s brief, but important. The movie displays Sersi (Gemma Chan) and Ikaris (Richard Madden) showing love in various ways. Their emotional connection is rather clear. But, the MCU has never shown a couple express their love in a physical way. Eternals does so in a beautiful way that’s intended to show the connection between these two superheroes.

Chloé Zhao confirmed that it didn’t take long to film the sex scene

IGN interviewed Zhao about the love in Eternals. She talked about Sersi and Ikaris’ romance, how it came to be, and how she approached untouched subject matter. Some others questioned putting a sex scene in the MCU, but Zhao remained fairly confident that this would be possible.

“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 continued that the sex scene was intentionally filmed during a beautiful time of day in a short period of time. She filmed the scene in a casual fashion without drawing too much attention to it. The scene is rather short and certainly isn’t exploitative.

“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,” Zhao 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.”

‘Eternals’ hopefully paves the way for more progress

Eternals is an introduction to the MCU’s future. Phase Four is well underway, but Zhao’s installment has changed everything. She massively expanded the scope and the scale. However, Zhao also brought the world the most inclusive MCU installment to date. This ensemble shows what it means to be human and what it means to love, regardless of their intersectionality.

Eternals is now out exclusively in theaters. Spider-Man: No Way Home is the next installment in Phase Four.

RELATED: ‘Eternals’ Movie Review: Source Material Woes Hinder Chloé Zhao’s MCU Installment