Captain Marvel star Gemma Chan met her death as Minn-Erva in the 2019 blockbuster, so it came as a big surprise when Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige approached her to play a key part in the upcoming Eternals movie.
The London-born Humans star told The Hollywood Reporter that she was "a bit bummed" about her death and what it meant about her involvement in the MCU.
She explained: “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. 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.”
Eternals co-stars stars Angelina Jolie as the ultra-powerful superhuman Thena, Game of Thrones' Richard Madden, who plays Ikaris, and Kit Karrington as Black Knight, real name Dane Whitman.
Chan, 38, had to audition for the role of Sersi, acting opposite Madden.
"I screen-tested with Richard and I think I came in right at the end of the process actually," she said. "I believe they had seen a lot of people for this role. It was the most difficult role for them to find the person to play this part. So I believe I was the last. Again, I don’t think they were 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."
Chan declined to give any plot details about the movie but did say the shoot was very different from Captain Marvel.
She said: "What can I say without alerting the Marvel spoiler police? ...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 wrapped in February 2020 but, as with almost all blockbusters, it has been pushed back by the impact of the COVOD-19 pandemic and is now scheduled to premiere on 5th November 2021.