This is What Gemma Chan and Chris Evans Have in Common About Their Roles in MCU

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding its reaches to superheroes that exist beyond the realm of Earth. In its endeavor to add mythical beings to the already impressive roaster of superheroes, the new Marvel movie Eternals is about genetically engineered, near-immortal beings who have been on Earth for years but possess otherworldly powers. It seems odd then that Gemma Chan, one of the Eternals shared something in common with Chris Evans, who played the role of the Avengers’ leader in previous Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. But they do. 

Both Chan and Evans have appeared as two characters in the MCU

WESTWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 14: Chris Evans attends the premiere of Lionsgate's "Knives Out" at Regency Village Theatre on November 14, 2019 in Westwood, California.
Chris Evans | Alberto E. Rodriguez/FilmMagic

When the audience looks at Sersi, played by Gemma Chan in the movie Eternals, she might look like another character that appeared in a Marvel movie. The reason behind this is that Sersi is not Chan’s first Marvel role. She previously played the role of the Kree sniper, Minn-Erva in the 2019 movie, Captain Marvel. 

It certainly seems like an oddity when one actor plays two different roles in the same universe. But, this is not the first time that this is happening.

Some Marvel fans know of Chris Evans as the righteous Captain America but that was not his first role in Marvel. He appeared as Johnny Storm or Human Torch in the 2005 movie Fantastic Four. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe only began in 2008, the movie Fantastic Four was based on Marvel Comic characters. 

Certainly, the appearance and costumes of both the characters the two actors played were different. Chan, as a Kree sniper was painted in blue, and though Evans did not have any paint on him as Human torch, his look and outfits were easily distinguishable. But did Evans’ and Chan’s previous appearances hamper their chance at their second Marvel roles?

Any problems in casting them the second time, no way

Kevin Feige certainly didn’t think so. In a recent interview with EW, it was revealed that Chan was both Feige and the movie director, Chloe Zhao’s first choice to be cast as Sersi. 

Chan remembered that she met Feige at an award show while she was promoting her movie Crazy, Rich Asians. Feige told her that he wanted her to be a part of a Marvel movie again, but Chan didn’t think it would happen so soon. 

About not considering not giving the role of Sersi to Chan, Feige said in an interview with EW, “It would have been shooting ourselves in the foot.”

He recalled how the same questions were raised when Evans was being considered to play Captain America and had he listened to those concerns then, the result might have been totally different today.

“I can go back to Chris Evans being on the list for Captain America, and some people said, ‘Oh, well, he played the Human Torch. Maybe we shouldn’t consider him.’ And we said, ‘No, that’s okay,’ and the rest is history,” Feige said.

Chan has an important role in ‘Eternals’

With a Marvel film already in her belt, Chan, in the form of Sersi, has taken on an important role in Eternals. Her character is not only a superhero but also the “emotional center” of the group. Sersi, unlike other Eternals is fond of humans and also has the ability to manipulate non-sentient matter. 

“She’s not the most obviously impressive Eternal in terms of her powers,” Chan told EW. “She’s not the strongest, and she’s not the best fighter, but her power really is her empathy.”

With the group’s tactical leader, Ikaris, played by Richard Madden, Sersi shares an enduring bond of love even as they have different approaches and perceive humanity differently. Though she finds herself also dating Dane Whitman, a human, played by Kit Harington. 

Will her second role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe be as successful as Evans’ second role as Captain America was? That remains to be seen when the movie comes out on Nov. 5.

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