In a surprise announcement at San Diego Comic-Con, Simu Liu has been cast as Marvel’s Shang-Chi — a role the actor lobbied for as far back as 2018! Shangi-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is one of the many films Marvel Studios has announced for Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, finally revealing their upcoming slate of movies after so much secrecy.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Tens Rings will be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton — a frequent collaborater of Brie Larson on such projects as Short Term 12 and Just Mercy — and will also star Tony Leung and The Mandarin (the real one) and Awkafina in an as-of-yet undisclosed role. The script is being written by David Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984, Zombieland: Double Tap) and is scheduled for a February 2021 release. Plot details are still being kept under wraps, but a subtitle like Legend of the Ten Rings and villains like the real Mandarin suggest the ancient secrets of this terror organization will be explored. What Shang-Chi’s role in this is also a mystery, but as one of the Marvel universe’s most gifted martial artists and fighters, it’s going to be all out brawl unlike anything the MCU has featured before.
It was during Marvel Studios’ Hall H panel at Comic-Con that the announcement of Simu Liu’s casting was made. The whole experiences has surely been a whirlwind for Liu, who it was revealed had only tested for the role Sunday and was cast the following Tuesday, only days prior to the announcement at Comic-Con! Marvel Studios is clearly moving very quickly to get Phase 4 started, but Liu later shared on Twitter that he had actually lobbied for the role of Shang-Chi back in December of 2018. Not long after the Hall H announcement, Liu took to Twitter to re-share his original request that Marvel and he meet about Shang-Chi as well as his reaction once the news broke. Check out Liu’s tweets, below:
It’s hard to fault Liu for the expletive because in just one evening he went from being a relatively unknown television actor on series like Kim’s Convenience and Fresh Off The Boat to the lead actor in one of Marvel’s most anticipated upcoming films. Not that he didn’t kind of ask for it seeing as he did reach out about the role, but still, what a week he has had. It’s not very often that an actor can score themselves a role simply by asking for it (unless you’re Mahershala Ali, it seems), but Marvel clearly saw something in Liu which they found perfect for their first Asian-American superhero.
In a single evening inside Hall H, Marvel Studios outlined a vast majority of their upcoming plans for both movies and television. Along with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, such anticipated projects like Black Widow and Eternals were finally officially announced, as were several sequels, including Thor: Love and Thunder and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. More details were also revealed about upcoming Disney+ series like Loki, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and WandaVision. Two decades later, Marvel Studios is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.