With very few exceptions, we don’t see many actors playing multiple roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that small list is about to expand in a big way with the release of ETERNALS. The upcoming Marvel film will feature Gemma Chan as Sersi, a powerful alien who loves humanity, but this will actually be Chan’s second role in the MCU as she previously played Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel.
Even under blue makeup, Minn-Erva was obviously still identifiable as Gemma Chan, and the actor told THR that she thought that there was no chance that she would be able to return in a different role.
I enjoyed [Captain Marvel] and I loved working with Brie [Larson]. 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.
Thank you, Crazy Rich Asians. Gemma Chan screen-tested with Richard Madden, who plays Ikaris, and the role was soon hers, but Chan admitted that she didn’t think that Marvel was “particularly expecting to bring me back within a year of Captain Marvel coming out. I imagine they thought it might be sometime in the future, if at all. So it took us all a bit by surprise.” As the release of Eternals has experienced several major delays thanks to COVID-19, that might help put a little space between Chan’s appearance in Captain Marvel last year.
As far as what we can expect from Eternals, Gemma Chan obviously couldn’t say much without alerting Marvel’s spoiler police, but she did tease that they’re trying to do something quite different with the film.
It’s a really epic story. Very ambitious. There are lots of new characters. 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. Yeah, again, it felt very different. We did some stuff in studio, but a lot of stuff on location. There wasn’t that much bluescreen stuff, which I did quite a lot of on Captain Marvel.
Eternals is currently set to hit theaters on November 5, 2021.