Simu Liu, who plays Shaun/Shang Chi in Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) has revealed that he was initially nervous about his MCU debut, but was relieved when Marvel Studios worked closely with him to make sure they got his character right.
Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was released in theaters last year with many fans believing it to be the best Marvel movie for 2021. It followed Simu Liu as Shaun/Shang Chi as he dealt with his past as his father, Wenwu/The Mandarin (Tony Leung) said that Shang Chi’s ten years of freedom are up as his father plans to bring back their mother from the grave. This led Shang Chi and his sister Xialing (Meng’er Zhang) to find Ta Lo, the mystical realm before their father could destroy it. In the end, Shang Chi acquired the Ten Rings from his father and defeated the enemies Wenwu had unleashed.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is vast and full of so many different superheroes and for someone like Simu Liu, it’s understandable why he didn’t think the studio would listen to him. Marvel plans out so many movies ahead of time that it can make sense that they already mapped out the character and Simu Liu is just the actor bringing the martial artist to life. Yet, that isn’t how it went for the actor as he revealed in an interview that his experience was really positive when working with Marvel Studios:
“I went in expecting, with a machine like Marvel, that I was just going to be a tiny little cog in the wheel. So I was surprised by how much I was asked to provide feedback, at kind of every opportunity. And then you get used to it and you show up and you’re like, ‘I have ideas. Let’s get ready to work.’ For an actor, there’s nothing more fulfilling.”
Simu Liu also shared how he is looking forward to returning as Shang Chi because he can’t wait to explore the character further with Marvel:
“I guess I wasn’t the most surprised, given everything that had happened. I was so relieved to hear that he [Cretton] has been confirmed to come back,” Liu explained. “Again, that’s not a surprise but it’s just so good to feel the engine turning again like, ‘Great! We get to tell more stories again,’ while delving deeper into the characters and providing more of those badass fight sequences.”
Kevin Feige explained to another source that Marvel was indeed watching the early reactions to gauge how much Shang Chi would be a part of the MCU. They wanted to know how fans felt about Marvel’s martial artists before having him show up in more projects:
“The early reactions to the characters and to [Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings] itself gives me great hope that that people will want to see more of these characters. We certainly have many ideas of where to take them and where to put them. What’s so fun, we know the movie’s working when it’s not just the title character that people ask about, but it is the co-stars or the supporting players that people ask about.”
It seems that Marvel may be interested to have some of the side characters from Shang Chi go elsewhere in the MCU and have their story be told. We already see Marvel setting up a Ten Rings spin-off with Xialing as she takes over her father’s empire. From there, it is hard to see who else could reappear in another Marvel project as Katy (Awkwafina) fits nicely as Shaun’s friend and it would be weird to see her helping out another Avenger.
More on Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Here is more information on the Marvel film:
Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. The film also stars Tony Leung as Wenwu, Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan, as well as Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu and Ronny Chieng.
Are you excited to see more of Shang Chi? Let us know in the comments below!
You can stream Chloe Zhao’s Eternals, or Simu Liu’s Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and the five series in Marvel’s Phase Four so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Marvel’s What If…?, and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye— on Disney+ anytime.