[SDCC 2019] Marvel Finds Their Shang-Chi in Canada’s Simu Liu

Marvel continued to blitz Hall H at SDCC 2019 on Saturday evening with news of what they hope to be the next cultural sensation, all while introducing the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe who hails from our friendly neighbors to the north.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was announced officially by Kevin Feige during Marvel’s Saturday night MCU Phase 4 reveal panel, and we got our first glimpse into what we can expect for the release date in early 2021. Director Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12) was present to not only mention a brief plot summary and (returning) villain, but also some casting news. In particular, who will be playing the hero himself. With that, Canadian actor Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience, The Expanse, Dark Matter) took the stage and was welcomed into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the first Asian superhero lead for the franchise. Liu’s profile has risen gradually from roles in NBC’s Taken and Canadian series Blood and Water to the critically acclaimed Kim’s Convenience, where he plays Jung in the Korean-Canadian sitcom, which is wrapping up filming its fourth season. Kim’s Convenience was launched on Netflix in 2018 and has gained a cult following in the United States.

shang chi simu liu kims

Liu stated that, “I was cast on Tuesday. I screen-tested on Sunday in New York. This is the craziest, craziest dream.” Although Liu has definitely worked to put the dream to reality by throwing his name out on Twitter last December when rumors of the movie percolated in Hollywood, culminating in his response Saturday to that same tweet:

This was not the only news Marvel came with in regards to Shang-Chi. It was also announced that we would also see the return of the Mandarin to the MCU as he’ll be slated as the villain for this story. Previously thought to be Ben Kingsley in Iron Man 3, the Mandarin will reveal his true self here, and will be played by Hong Kong actor Tony Leung. Awkwafina will also star in the movie in an undisclosed role for the movie.

Shang-Chi was created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin for Marvel back in the 1970s as an answer to TV’s Kung Fu phenomenon. He was born to villain Fu Manchu and a Caucasian mother, raised in martial arts by his father to assist with his evil plans. He soon rebelled after learning his father’s true ways. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie will look to explore the father/son dynamic. However, since Marvel no longer owns the rights to Fu Manchu and would like to avoid the stereotypes generated in the comics, perhaps the Mandarin will take on the patriarchal role.

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What is happening to me

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David Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984) will write the screenplay and the movie will look to shoot in Australia next year for the February 12, 2021 release as Marvel’s 26th movie in the MCU. For more news about other Marvel revelations during the Saturday night panel or other SDCC 2019 news, keep checking out Grizzly Bomb for the latest details!

Source: Marvel, Disney, The CBC

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