For most actors, joining the gargantuan Marvel franchise is usually a stroke of luck by catching Kevin Feige’s attention. Rarely do we see actors campaigning for their desired role, aside from the usual hints in interviews or social media posts. However, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings actor Simu Liu has been advocating himself to star as the Master of Kung Fu for seven years.
Shang-Chi’s debut trailer welcomed the character into the live-action MCU, which was met with a warm response from fans. Destin Daniel Cretton’s feature appears to be packed with powerful action sequences with comic relief courtesy of Awkwafina, pitting Shang-Chi against the “real” Mandarin. Like almost every feature this year and last, Shang-Chi received a third delay by Disney, moving its summer release to September 3. The trailer was a promising appetizer for the main event, therefore, we don’t mind waiting. However, we certainly won’t be waiting as long as Simu Liu has to get the role.
Liu randomly tweeted Marvel one day, in response to the franchise’s handling of characters thus far. Liu’s first tweet to the company was in 2014, when he applauded Marvel’s work with Captain America and Thor, but asked “how about an Asian American hero?” which got the attention of his followers. Four years later, he asked “are we gonna talk or what” accompanying the tweet with a Shang-Chi hashtag. Around six months later, Liu tweeted again, this time with “Well shit”, because Marvel actually reached out to him to audition and he ended up getting the role in the end.
Liu spoke to EW about the tweets and stated that he was not expecting Marvel to reply at all, labeling the tweets as a joke. The actor confirmed that he had always dreamed of portraying a superhero, and was shocked to hear Marvel wanted him to audition. Now that his dream has come true, Liu represents the first Asian superhero in a lead role within the MCU, not forgetting Wong, Mantis, and Minn-Erva to name a few.
We expect Liu’s charisma will shine in the main feature, however, the Shang-Chi trailer had us busy spotting Easter eggs instead of critiquing his performance. The Marvel fandom went hunting for connections to other MCU films, and managed to find one Captain America treat and a cameo from Spider-Man: Homecoming.
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