Fans were surprised when Captain Marvel’s Gemma Chan was cast in Eternals as a different MCU character, and it turns out she was too.
Gemma Chan reveals how she ended up being cast in not one, but two Marvel movies: Captain Marvel and Eternals. Prior to joining the MCU, Chan was best known for her role on the AMC series Humans and for playing kindhearted socialite Astrid in 2018 romcom hit Crazy Rich Asians. In 2019, Chan made her MCU debut in Captain Marvel as Minn-Erva, one of the members of Kree Starforce. Something of a secondary antagonist, Minn-Erva perishes while trying to apprehend Carol Danvers (Brie Larson). It seemed like Chan would be a one-and-done Marvel star.
However, that soon proved to be an incorrect assumption. Summer 2019 brought the news that Chan will appear in the MCU’s upcoming Eternals, though she will not play Minn-Erva. This time, she’ll portray Sersi, one of the members of the titular cosmic team. Fans were surprised to hear Chan would be back in a different role, though this is hardly the first time a performer has traded one Marvel character for another. Still, many wondered how this came to be.
Now, Chan has opened up about the surprising development in her Marvel career. In an interview with THR about her latest movie Let Them All Talk, Chan explained she assumed she would be done with the MCU after Captain Marvel. However, franchise mastermind Kevin Feige approached her months later and insisted they wanted to find a new role for her in the future. Chan recalled:
But my character dies in the film as well, so I thought there was no chance that I would really be coming back, which I was a bit bummed about. But then I encountered Kevin Feige during the awards circuit for Crazy Rich Asians and out of the blue, he just came up and said, “We’d love to have you back.” I’m going to paraphrase really badly, but I guess he’d seen the film and said, “We’d love to make better use of you. We’d just love for you to come back. We want you to do something else so let’s find that project.” But, to be honest, I had no idea that it would be so soon. So, yeah, it was just really nice of him to say that.
Chan also spoke a bit about Eternals, which was originally supposed to premiere last month before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted release plans. “I feel like it’s going to be a superhero movie that is not like a superhero movie. That sounds like a very obvious thing to say, but they’re trying to do something different with this film,” Chan said. In regards to her character Sersi, Chan teased her as “very empathetic and her powers come from an unexpected place.” As it stands right now, Eternals is slated for release in November 2021. Well before that, though, fans will be gifted their first proper look at Chan and the rest of the cast whenever the trailer drops. It sounds like Sersi and Minn-Erva are two very different characters, and it’ll be interesting to see how Chan switches from one to the other.
Chan is a very talented actress, so it was disappointing to see her time as Minn-Erva end when she died in Captain Marvel. That’s why it’s so exciting to know she’ll be back in Eternals, especially because her role looks to be bigger this time around. Sersi could be Chan’s key to sticking around in the MCU for the long run, though Marvel has kept their future plans for the Eternals under lock and key. Expect them to become clearer next year when Eternals finally arrives in theaters. Until then, fans can revisit Chan’s previous MCU movie to help tide them over.