Since before Marvel Studios’s announcement at San Diego Comic Con last month, there have been a lot of rumors on the upcoming MCU Phase 4 slate. One in particular, The Eternals, is now confirmed to be the first of Phase 4 to be released after Black Widow. With Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announcing a star-studded cast for The Eternals during the Hall H panel, it is hard to imagine them bringing even more star power to the mix, until now. Last week, Variety reported that Marvel is current in talks with Gemma Chan for a role in The Eternals. Chan is, of course, best known to Marvel fans as Minn-Erva, the Kree Starforce member in Captain Marvel.
There is much speculation as to which character Chan would be playing, with several of the key members of The Eternals already cast. The Eternals, originally created by Jack Kirby, has evolved to include a massive list of characters including both good and bad guys. The cosmic-powered superhuman race also connects directly to the Skrulls, Thanos, and the Celestials, which have all appeared in previous Marvel films. Let’s have a look at some possibilities:
The MCU has been pulling heavily from the more recent volumes of Marvel’s sprawling comics universe — Brian Michael Bendis’s Ultimates, Captain Marvel from Kelly Sue Deconnick’s 2012 run, Warren Ellis’s Extremis, Ed Brubaker’s Winter Soldier are just a few examples that came immediately to mind. One could reasonably expect The Eternals to do the same, starting with Neil Gaiman’s 2006 Eternals miniseries and Charles Knauf’s Eternal: Manifest Destiny where Sersi was a main character. According to an early report by The Hollywood Reporter a part of The Eternals will revolve around Sersi , who has yet to be cast, making her the most likely character to be played by Chan.
Not to be confused with Cersei from Game of Thrones, Sersi is a master of molecular manipulation and transmutation through the use of her cosmic powers. She was at one point a member of the Avengers, and was, for the most part, Makkari’s lover through the ages. In Eternals (2006), the Eternals reappeared on Earth with no memories of who they were, except Ikaris, due to manipulation by the Eternal Sprite. During this time, she lived in New York as a party planner. She eventually regained some of her memories, but decided to continue to live as a human instead of Eternal, subsequently declining Tony Stark’s invitation to rejoin the Avengers.
Minn-Erva was last seen in Captain Marvel, shot down by Maria Rambeau while in hot pursuit of the Quinjet. However, the audience never actually saw her die. In the film, she was a member of the Kree Starforce, working under Yon-Rogg as a sharpshooter and Vers’s teammate. While the Kree has very little connections to the Eternals, their enemies the Skrulls are related to the Deviants, who are enemies with the Eternals.
Despite being a major character in the comics, Chan’s Minn-Erva was memorable but under-utilized in the movie. The comic version of the character is a brilliant bio-geneticist who came to Earth with a mission to mate with Captain Mar-Vell in order to gain his genetic material for experiments. Her powers include super strength, graviton-fueled flight, and enhanced perception. It would be interesting to see the character fully fleshed out in the movies. Right now, there is no word on whether Chan would reprise her role as Minn-Erva, but sources seem to indicate that her role would be a completely different one, making Chan the first actor in the MCU to play two roles in the franchise.
In the comics, Celestials are described as monolithic beings that came to Earth millions of years ago and experimented on early humans, eventually creating the Eternals and the Deviants. They came in waves known as “Hosts” to monitor the progress of their experiments. They are powerful enough that they once defeated the combined armies of Odin and Zeus, and melted the Destroyer armour to slag. The Celestials are essential to the story of the Eternals, and would be a worthy villain to fight against. In the MCU, the Celestial Ego has the ability to create humanoid forms in order to communicate with each species he encountered. It is likely that if a Celestial makes an appearance in The Eternals, it will be in the form of a human.
It is not as far-fetched as you might think. Despite the character being written as a man in the comics, it wouldn’t be all surprising for the movie version to have a gender swap. In Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell’s character is a woman rather than a man as in the comics, and in The Eternal’s own casting, Ajak and Makkari, soon to be played by Salma Hayek and Lauren Ridloff respectively, are both written as men in the comics.
In Eternals (2006), Druig became deputy Prime Minister and eventually, ruler of Vorozheika. As with all Eternals, he has the ability to manipulate cosmic energy, giving him near immortality, as well as the ability to manipulate matter and minds, telepathy and telekinesis. Druig is a trickster of sorts in The Eternals. He plays both sides, aligning with whomever will give him the leverage he needs. He helped the Eternals to contain the Dream Celestial, and then used his superhuman and political powers to brainwash newly emerging Eternals into following his splinter faction. As one of the main Eternals, Druig could bring a lot of interesting dynamics as Loki did for the Avengers.
Pixie was a member of the superhero team First Line, and was one of the few survivors of that team when the Skrull attacked Earth. As with most Eternals, she has superhuman strength, is immortal, and can project energy. She also has psionic abilities, and uses a substance called “Pixie Dust” to temporarily turn people into stone. Even though Pixie had very little affiliation with the Eternals beyond sharing genetics, she did occasionally assist other Eternals with serious threats, such as Deviants and the Horde.
There is no denying that Gemma Chan has talent. With her acclaimed roles in movies such as Crazy Rich Asian and Mary Queen of Scots under her belt, she deserves a major role in the MCU that will put her talent on display, rather than just a supporting character. For now, it remains to be seen whether Marvel recognizes the contribution she could bring to the franchise.
Marvel’s The Eternals is set to release Nov 6th, 2020.
Who do you think Gemma should play? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!