How Eternals’ Gemma Chan Got Involved With The Marvel Movie Following Captain Marvel

Gemma Chan as Astrid Young-Teo in Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Being tapped for a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a true honor, but what’s even more unique is when someone is brought back to play an entirely different character. This is the case for Gemma Chan, who rejoined Marvel Studios as Sersi in Eternals after having previously played Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel. Chan is very much aware of her good fortune, and she recently explained how she came to join a second MCU property.

Those who have seen Captain Marvel know that Gemma Chan’s Kree sniper and Starforce member Minn-Erva was shot down and killed by Maria Rambeau during the film’s third act. With this, Chan doubted she would return to the MCU in any capacity. But this changed during an encounter with Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige:

My character dies in [Captain Marvel], 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 [Marvel Studios boss] 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. We’d love to make better use of you. 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.

Kevin Feige has delivered a lot of good news in his time (as Marvel fans probably know), and Gemma Chan was excited to learn that said project would be Eternals. During her recent interview with THR, Chan went onto describe some of the ways in which the film differs from Captain Marvel and teased a bit about her character:

It felt very different. It’s a really epic story. Very ambitious. 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. So we’re all crossing our fingers that it works and that people respond to it. We shot a lot on location, using a lot of natural light. There wasn’t that much bluescreen stuff, which I did quite a lot of on Captain Marvel. [Sersi is] very empathetic and her powers come from an unexpected place.

From what we’ve heard about Eternals so far, director Chloé Zhao really injected her sensibilities into the superhero epic. And Chan’s sentiments on the decreased reliance on bluescreen definitely point to the filmmaker’s attempts to change things up for this MCU installment.

As for Gemma Chan’s character, Sersi is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, and this could very well be the case in the MCU as well. Despite this, Chan’s mention of her empathy still hints at the cosmic character’s love for humanity.

It’s great that Marvel Studios found a way to bring Gemma Chan back into the MCU family. While we may still have a ways to go before we see Chan and her fellow Eternals hit the big screen, it sounds like the movie should be well worth the wait.

Eternals is scheduled to open in theaters on November 5, 2021.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.