Shang-Chi: Simu Liu On Joining Avengers

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings | Review!

Fandom Entertainment 25 August, 2021 - 10:20pm

As reported by Variety, Feige participated in an interview with Chinese film critic Raymond Zhou during the U.S. Shang-Chi premiere this week, in which he responded to some of China's biggest gripes surrounding the MCU feature and assured fans that careful consideration had been given on the road to taking the comics to the big screen.

"[Fu Manchu] is not a character we own or would ever want to own. It was changed in the comics many, many, many years ago. We never had any intention of [having him] in this movie," Feige emphasized, adding: "Definitively, Fu Manchu is not in this movie, is not Shang-Chi's father, and again, is not even a Marvel character, and hasn't been for decades."

Instead of Fu Manchu, Shang-Chi's father in the movie is Wenwu, portrayed by Tony Leung. As explained in a recent featurette, our titular hero will find himself returning to his father's world after running away in his youth, which is quite a different story to the one sometimes told in the comics that sees the character abandon his Chinese roots to embrace the West.

"That sense of running away… is presented as one of his flaws," he added, noting the narrative change. "It is a flaw to run away to the West and to hide from his legacy and his family — that's how the movie is presented. And how he will face that and overcome that is part of what the story's about."

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set for a wide theatrical release on September 3. The movie doesn't yet have a release date in China despite it being an important market for movies, with its box office previously taking $629 million for Avengers: Endgame, making it the country's highest-grossing foreign film ever, plus the sixth-largest earner overall.

For more on the MCU film, get a glimpse of the movie's dragon character in the latest poster, check out our explainer on Shang-Chi himself, and if the Ten Rings are actually magical.

Adele Ankers is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.

Inside | Marvel Studios' Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Marvel Entertainment 25 August, 2021 - 10:20pm

How Shang-Chi's Simu Liu Went from Unemployed Accountant to Marvel's First Asian Superhero

PEOPLE 25 August, 2021 - 10:20pm

"My parents (his dad Zhenning and mom Zheng) had gotten the opportunity to study at Queen's College in Kingston, Ontario, so [they] made the decision to leave me in the care of my grandparents," Liu tells PEOPLE in this week's issue, on newsstands Friday.

"As full-time students, it would have been really, really difficult to be able to support me," he says. "And so I grew up in the care of these wonderful grandparents, in Harbin, China. I loved it. I wasn't really aware of what I did or didn't have. I had two amazing guardians in my yeye (grandfather) and my nainai (grandmother)."

Liu says his transition to Canada was difficult.

"It was tough for a lot of reasons, least of all the language barrier," he says. "I really struggled to learn English at first. I remember being at my first daycare, just bawling my eyes out because I couldn't understand what anybody was saying to me."

RELATED: Shang-Chi Full Trailer Shows Simu Liu Wielding the Power of the Ten Rings in Battle

Those days are far in the past for the 32-year-old actor. Next week the star makes history as the first Asian superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters on Sept. 3.

"When I say that this is a dream come true, that is such a huge understatement," he says. "I used to love watching Marvel movies when I was a kid, even before, pre-MCU. If there was a superhero, I wanted to watch it. This is all I've ever wanted."

This seemed like an impossible dream just nine years ago. Liu was laid off as an accountant by the consulting firm Deloitte.

"It was just so disheartening," he says. "I felt like my life was over and like I was at rock bottom."

It also meant he would have to tell his parents, aeronautic engineers who strongly encouraged their son to focus on his schooling in the hopes that one day he would gravitate toward medicine or law. 

RELATED: Shang-Chi's Simu Liu Says Marvel Movie Is 'a Celebration of Asianness': 'I Feel Very Privileged'

But when he told his parents he wanted to pivot to acting, he recalls, "Initially to their credit, they were sympathetic. I think they knew that I was going through a lot with the loss of my job. But they became more and more panicked as they realized that I was actually serious. We had a lot of arguments about it. My parents felt like I was throwing my life away."

They watched their son nab his first acting job in Guillermo del Toro's 2013 sci-fi film Pacific Rim by responding to a Craigslist ad. He appeared in a number of small roles before breaking out in 2016 when he was cast as one of the leads in the Canadian comedy Kim's Convenience, about a Korean family that runs a convenience store.

As his fame increased, he began to speak out about issues that were important to him. "I saw so many people who grew up like me, feeling invisible or as somebody who didn't belong," he says.

This spring, he wrote in Variety about anti-Asian hate, recalling his parents being mocked for their accents and him being told to "go back to China."

More recently, when Disney CEO Bob Chapek said on an investor call that Shang-Chi would be an "interesting experiment," Liu tweeted, "We are not an experiment. We are the underdog; the underestimated." (Disney has since clarified that Chapek was referring to the 45-day theatrical release window before streaming on Disney+.)

Liu says, "I wanted the world to know how incredibly excited I was to share this with them. I'm really fired up."

And, so are his parents, who Liu brought to the movie's premiere last week. "When we turned onto Hollywood Boulevard and we saw the fans, everything, we looked at each other, and it was clear that none of us had ever expected in a million years that our family would be here," he says. "They're very proud."

The three of them have come a long way.

"Now they're my best friends," he says. "I can't wait to experience whatever's next with them."

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters on Sept. 3

Shang-Chi set for Marvel debut in theaters

FOX 13 News Utah 25 August, 2021 - 10:20pm

"My parents (his dad Zhenning and mom Zheng) had gotten the opportunity to study at Queen's College in Kingston, Ontario, so [they] made the decision to leave me in the care of my grandparents," Liu tells PEOPLE in this week's issue, on newsstands Friday.

"As full-time students, it would have been really, really difficult to be able to support me," he says. "And so I grew up in the care of these wonderful grandparents, in Harbin, China. I loved it. I wasn't really aware of what I did or didn't have. I had two amazing guardians in my yeye (grandfather) and my nainai (grandmother)."

Liu says his transition to Canada was difficult.

"It was tough for a lot of reasons, least of all the language barrier," he says. "I really struggled to learn English at first. I remember being at my first daycare, just bawling my eyes out because I couldn't understand what anybody was saying to me."

RELATED: Shang-Chi Full Trailer Shows Simu Liu Wielding the Power of the Ten Rings in Battle

SHANG-CHI interviews - Simu Liu, Destin Daniel Cretton, Awkwafina, Florian Big Nasty Munteanu

FOX 5 Washington DC 25 August, 2021 - 10:20pm

"My parents (his dad Zhenning and mom Zheng) had gotten the opportunity to study at Queen's College in Kingston, Ontario, so [they] made the decision to leave me in the care of my grandparents," Liu tells PEOPLE in this week's issue, on newsstands Friday.

"As full-time students, it would have been really, really difficult to be able to support me," he says. "And so I grew up in the care of these wonderful grandparents, in Harbin, China. I loved it. I wasn't really aware of what I did or didn't have. I had two amazing guardians in my yeye (grandfather) and my nainai (grandmother)."

Liu says his transition to Canada was difficult.

"It was tough for a lot of reasons, least of all the language barrier," he says. "I really struggled to learn English at first. I remember being at my first daycare, just bawling my eyes out because I couldn't understand what anybody was saying to me."

RELATED: Shang-Chi Full Trailer Shows Simu Liu Wielding the Power of the Ten Rings in Battle

Those days are far in the past for the 32-year-old actor. Next week the star makes history as the first Asian superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters on Sept. 3.

"When I say that this is a dream come true, that is such a huge understatement," he says. "I used to love watching Marvel movies when I was a kid, even before, pre-MCU. If there was a superhero, I wanted to watch it. This is all I've ever wanted."

This seemed like an impossible dream just nine years ago. Liu was laid off as an accountant by the consulting firm Deloitte.

"It was just so disheartening," he says. "I felt like my life was over and like I was at rock bottom."

It also meant he would have to tell his parents, aeronautic engineers who strongly encouraged their son to focus on his schooling in the hopes that one day he would gravitate toward medicine or law. 

RELATED: Shang-Chi's Simu Liu Says Marvel Movie Is 'a Celebration of Asianness': 'I Feel Very Privileged'

But when he told his parents he wanted to pivot to acting, he recalls, "Initially to their credit, they were sympathetic. I think they knew that I was going through a lot with the loss of my job. But they became more and more panicked as they realized that I was actually serious. We had a lot of arguments about it. My parents felt like I was throwing my life away."

They watched their son nab his first acting job in Guillermo del Toro's 2013 sci-fi film Pacific Rim by responding to a Craigslist ad. He appeared in a number of small roles before breaking out in 2016 when he was cast as one of the leads in the Canadian comedy Kim's Convenience, about a Korean family that runs a convenience store.

As his fame increased, he began to speak out about issues that were important to him. "I saw so many people who grew up like me, feeling invisible or as somebody who didn't belong," he says.

This spring, he wrote in Variety about anti-Asian hate, recalling his parents being mocked for their accents and him being told to "go back to China."

More recently, when Disney CEO Bob Chapek said on an investor call that Shang-Chi would be an "interesting experiment," Liu tweeted, "We are not an experiment. We are the underdog; the underestimated." (Disney has since clarified that Chapek was referring to the 45-day theatrical release window before streaming on Disney+.)

Liu says, "I wanted the world to know how incredibly excited I was to share this with them. I'm really fired up."

And, so are his parents, who Liu brought to the movie's premiere last week. "When we turned onto Hollywood Boulevard and we saw the fans, everything, we looked at each other, and it was clear that none of us had ever expected in a million years that our family would be here," he says. "They're very proud."

The three of them have come a long way.

"Now they're my best friends," he says. "I can't wait to experience whatever's next with them."

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters on Sept. 3

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Shang-Chi review: A new fighting style for Marvel, but still with the same flaws

CNET 25 August, 2021 - 10:20pm

There was a point in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings when I forgot I was watching a Marvel movie. It's strange to say that one of the biggest strengths of this latest Marvel flick is how un-Marvel it is, but maybe it's fitting that a film about conflicting identity has a dual identity of its own. Because from opening battle to inevitable post-credits scene, Shang-Chi comes with Marvel strengths and weaknesses while also feeling like something winningly new.

Unlike July's Black Widow, this latest Marvel adventure won't stream on Disney Plus (at least until October). Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings premieres on Sept. 3, only in theaters. Check your local guidance and follow COVID precautions to safeguard your health if you're considering seeing this or any any other film in a theater.

Entertain your brain with the coolest news from streaming to superheroes, memes to video games.

Simu Liu plays Shaun, a lovable goof wasting his life in San Francisco parking cars and doing karaoke with his buddy Katy, played by Awkwafina. Except his name is really Shang-Chi and he's actually trained to be an assassin by his millennia-old warlord father, who shows up with a plan to conquer a magical village hidden deep in a Chinese forest.

The film is carried by Hong Kong cinema legend Tony Leung as Wenwu, patriarch to both Shang-Chi and a shadowy ninja army. Leung is hugely compelling as a villain who's by turns steely or romantic, loving or vengeance-driven. Wenwu is one of the most nuanced and intriguing antagonists of any recent blockbuster, let alone the Marvel franchise.

I partly forgot Shang-Chi was part of the Disney-owned comic book-based franchise because of how little it relies on connection to the wider MCU. Even when Marvel previously introduced new characters to the big screen, like Black Panther, Ant-Man or the MCU version of Spider-Man, they tended to overlap with other films. Though that's fun in its own way, it's really refreshing to watch a film stand entirely on its own two feet, without viewers having to remember other films -- and yes, I appreciate that's a low bar, but hey, that's the sequel/spinoff/reboot culture we live in.

OK, so there are nods to the earlier MCU. Without going into spoilers, these nods are OK because you don't have to remember a complicated backstory, they make narrative sense, and most importantly they're funny.

But as well as resting the big-name Avengers, the film itself is visually and narratively distinct from the rest of the franchise. Shang-Chi is Marvel's first Asian lead, and the style of the film draws on the rich history of Asian cinema, from martial arts movies to gangster films to romance, and in particular the lush visual and emotional style of wuxia epics. Like recent Disney Plus shows WandaVision and Loki, Shang-Chi's greatest strength is its power to surprise. Drawing on the superhero-style myths and legends of a new culture gives the Legend of the Ten Rings a freshness missing from more familiar fare like Black Widow. 

From the moment Shang-Chi first busts out his martial arts skills on board a runaway bus, the Legend of the Ten Rings is all about the action. The fight scenes were coordinated by the late Brad Allan, a frequent collaborator with Jackie Chan, and the set piece punch-ups brim with a zest all too rarely seen in Hollywood blockbusters. Each character and each fight has a personality expressed through a style of fighting. In fact, the hero's personal growth is symbolized by his changing fighting style, a deft and satisfying piece of visual storytelling.

At the same time, Shang-Chi is very much a Marvel movie, which is both good and bad. If you thought Black Widow's much-anticipated villain Taskmaster turned out to be an anticlimax, wait till you meet Shang-Chi's desperately uncharismatic and undercooked bad guys (except Leung, of course).

Visually, when it isn't drawing on the vibrant style of Chinese cinema, the cinematography suffers the same blandness that afflicts all Marvel films. And the use of computer-generated imagery adds fluorescent flair but also leads to a sort of visual numbness. Sure, it's fine to bring mythical creatures and fancy superpowers to life with computer generated animation, but when even the background is clearly CG, it takes away from the impact of the action. There are moments where characters are just chatting in a field, and the field clearly isn't real. The finale in particular is overreliant on a CG light show and goes on too long.

And when the grandstanding fights take place against the cartoonish sheen of CG backgrounds, it mutes the skill and athleticism of the performers. As much fun as the fights are, they can't match the gasp or wince-inducing wallop of Jackie Chan fight scenes, in which you know the star and stunt performers really are leaping around a moving vehicle or the side of a building.

But Marvel's strengths are also in full effect. The film is very funny, with Awkwafina and various other guest stars stealing almost every scene. And the film buys itself license to employ familiar or overserious genre conventions (like portentous voice-overs) by also gently poking fun at them.

Above all, the film is driven by engaging characters. The MCU has rarely dealt with the superhero genre staple of secret identity (except, it seems, in the forthcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home), but Shang-Chi recontextualizes the challenges of living two different versions of yourself through the lens of Asian-American experience. In the hands of director Destin Daniel Cretton, The Legend of the Ten Rings mindfully corrects past failings of representation by Marvel and offers a depiction of Chinese family and culture that viewers from Asian backgrounds are hailing for its warmth and authenticity (check out reviews by Asian and POC critics at IO9, Moviemarker, Geeks of Color and more).

The character dynamics leave Simu Liu in a tough spot, however. Leung is an unbeatable actor, Awkwafina is funnier, Meng'er Zhang has a more compelling emotional conflict as Shang-Chi's sister, and Michelle Yeoh is simply more coolly charismatic. A surplus of flashbacks and voice-overs mean Liu himself fades from the spotlight for stretches at a time. Fortunately he's pretty charming (and looks great with his shirt off) as the ass-kicking lunk wandering wide-eyed into MCU leading man status. In his first adventure, you might forget you're watching a Marvel movie, but Shang-Chi is destined to be a memorable part of the Marvel myth.

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