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Gemma Chan Is the Star of The Eternals, According to Marvel’s Kevin Feige, and GOOD

Gemma Chan at The Derby Festival in Epsom, UK. (Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)

We don’t know much about Marvel’s upcoming movie The Eternals, but with Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao behind the camera, we’re surely in for a treat. Talking with Variety about the upcoming movie, Marvel’s Kevin Feige gave us a look into what Zhao has in store for us as well as who is really the lead of the film.

Feige has hope for the future, joking with Variety about it. “I’m excited to answer your questions about the future,” Feige said on Friday, two days before the Oscars where Zhao would make history with her Best Director win for Nomadland. “I’d also like to give you a few quotes about when ‘Eternals’ wins best picture, and when ‘Avengers 5’ is the biggest movie of all time — so let’s bank those quotes as well.”

First, Feige told Variety about Zhao’s journey to Marvel. The Oscar-winner was a fan and wanted to direct a Marvel film and, according to Feige, was first brought up for Black Widow:

“Well, my memory of events, which is always colored by our own experiences, of course, is that she first popped up for “Black Widow.” Brad Winderbaum, who is a producer on “Black Widow,” either had an initial meeting with her and then she was going to come back in and do a pitch meeting — but she took herself out of it. She she didn’t have the time, or she wasn’t ready yet, or maybe she was gone off to shoot or prep “Nomadland” — I don’t remember exactly.

These are the kind of filmmakers we want to work with, regardless of the size of the film they’ve done before. Unique voices, with unique things to say. And in her case, which is not always a prerequisite by any means, she was a giant fan, both of the MCU and of the comics fan and of the genre. Which watching her movies you wouldn’t necessarily guess. So it was neat that she let that be known.

And then later, Nate Moore was beginning to put his list together for filmmakers on “Eternals,” and she was been on the list for that reason: because we knew she was in our world. The two of them started working on something that they then brought to me, and it was an absolute spectacular pitch that Chloé put together. A presentation that Chloé put together about a very bold and very ambitious sprawling 7000-year story of humanity and our place in the cosmos.””

And while Feige went on to praise Zhao and her style (as he should), he also gave us a bit of a look into the movie—more specifically how Gemma Chan’s Sersi is, in fact, the lead:

“When it came to casting, that also did affect it. There were some characters that we change from male to female, there were some characters that we knew how we were altering them from the books. But then also it came down to casting. So for Sersi, for instance — and if there was a lead in this ensemble, it is Sersi, it is Gemma Chan — we looked at and read all sorts of women for that part. And ended up really believing that Gemma was best for it. And thankfully, she’s proven that to be the case in the final movie.”

Now, not only is that exciting for Chan (who fans may know from Crazy Rich Asians), but also for us Marvel nerds to dive in and figure out what that means for the movie. In the comics, she’s an ancient being who has been a member of the Eternals and alive for centuries. In modern times, she’s a New York girl who hosts lavish parties for the rich and famous. So, my kind of gal.

But she does have an association to the Avengers, since she invited them to a party she held. Does that mean we’ll maybe see parts of Sersi’s history and her involvement with the Avengers on the big screen, as well? Is The Eternals going to focus on her centuries before that time? Honestly, who knows? I’m just excited for Zhao’s vision and direction pairing up with Gemma Chan’s star power. Us Marvel fans are surely in for a treat!

(image: Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.