When Gemma Chan’s character Minn-Erva bit the dust in 2019’s Captain Marvel, she thought her days in the Marvel Cinematic Universe were over and done with.
“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,” the London-born actress said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“But then I encountered [Marvel Studios’ Chief Creative Officer] 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.”
And that project turned out to be Eternals, about a race of immortal aliens who lived on Earth and shaped its history and civilisation.
The movie also stars Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridoff, and Don Lee.
For her role of Sersi — a sorceress with the power to transform any object or person, as well as super-strength and flight — Chan had to audition opposite Madden.
In the interview, Chan said Eternals is very different from Captain Marvel. “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.”
She added, “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.”
Chan isn’t the only actor to have played multiple characters in the MCU. Other double-role club members include Alfre Woodward (Luke Cage, Captain America: Civil War), Mahershala Ali (Luke Cage, Blade), and Kenneth Choi (Captain America: The First Avenger, Spider-Man: Homecoming).
Eternals — directed by Chloe Zhao, who’s attracting Oscar buzz for the Frances McDormand-starring drama Nomadland — was originally slated come out in November 2020, but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic to November 2021. The movie opens in Singapore on Oct 28.
Chan's latest, Steven Soderbergh's Let Them All Talk, just premiered on HBO Max. No word when it will drop on HBO Go.
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos