Shang-Chi's Simu Liu says he's hoping there's "an Avengers" in his future

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The A.V. Club 28 August, 2021 - 12:34pm 26 views

Is Shang Chi out?

The Shang-Chi Release Date SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (JUST MERCY, SHORT TERM 12) is scheduled to open in theaters on September 3, 2021. cinemark.comMarvel's Shang-Chi: Everything We Know

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Shang-Chi's Simu Liu Alludes to a Team-Up With Mackie's Captain America

CBR - Comic Book Resources 28 August, 2021 - 01:25pm

"Of course, being the Marvel nerd that I am, I have watched every single Disney+ Marvel show, and I thought his monologue at the end of Falcon and the Winter Soldier was just so fantastic. And the way that he embodies that role and the poise, I just think, what a perfect way to wrap up the arc of the Falcon and what a beautiful way to begin another chapter as the new Captain America," Liu said in an interview with AP Entertainment. "Again, this is purely a hypothetical thing, but I would hypothetically love to potentially perhaps maybe someday work with him. If that was in the cards, maybe, again, not sure, cannot confirm nor deny. I've already said too much."

"I've already said too much." #ShangChi star @SimuLiu would "hypothetically" love to act alongside @AnthonyMackie, @MarvelStudios' new Captain America. pic.twitter.com/j9ADDJAdnF

Mackie debuted as the MCU's next Captain America in the Marvel Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, where he starred alongside Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier. It was recently reported that Mackie and Marvel Studios had reached an agreement and officially signed contracts guaranteeing his return for Captain America 4, which was announced hours after the finale of the Disney+ series.

Mackie has previously stated that he can see the end of his career as a Marvel hero, saying, "I definitely don't want to be a 55-year-old Captain America, so I've got a solid six to eight [years] in me," which should leave plenty of time for a potential, future Shang-Chi/Captain America team-up. While Mackie has appeared as Sam Wilson in six Marvel films, starting with Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 2014, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will mark Liu's MCU debut.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings arrives exclusively in theaters on Sept. 3 and is the second film in the MCU's Phase 4, the first being Black Widow, which had a dual release in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access. However, this release strategy led to Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson suing Disney with allegations that the film's release on Disney+ directly breached her contract. Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed that Shang-Chi would skip a Disney+ release entirely and play in theaters for 45 days before moving on to streaming and PVOD. He also said that Disney will consider how the film performs only in theaters and use that to inform its release decisions for future titles.

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and written by Daniel Callaham, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings arrives in theaters on Sept. 3.

Source: Twitter

New Marvel Star Accused of Cultural Appropriation, Fans Plan ‘Shang-Chi’ Boycott | Inside the Magic

Inside the Magic 27 August, 2021 - 10:40am

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to break new ground for the Marvel Cinematic Universe when it hits theaters on September 3, 2021. The first nearly all-Asian American cast for Marvel Studios has recently been overshadowed by the Spider-Man: No Way Home (December 17, 2021) trailer and the latest superhero film has been called an “experiment” by the Disney CEO, which had led to some conspiracy theories that Marvel Studios is not giving the Marvel film its due.

Related: ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Trailer Remade as 90s Animated Cartoon

Awkwafina recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about her audition for ­Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and her experience meeting the star Simu Liu (Shang-Chi) for the first time.

She was the first person cast for the next movie coming in Marvel’s Phase 4, and Simu Liu was not cast as Shaun/Shang-Chi until near the end of the casting process. However, since the Golden Globe Award-winning actress was cast, she has faced an uphill battle while promoting the film.

Related: Marvel Bringing Live-Action Halloween Special to Disney+

Recently, a 2017 interview Awkwafina did with Vice resurfaced and went viral. During the interview from a few years ago, Awkwafina (whose real name is Nora Lum, as Awkwafina is a stage name) said:

Now, some Marvel fans are planning a boycott of the film as they accuse star Awkwafina (Katy) of cultural appropriation, claiming she has built her career on a “blaccent”. “Blaccent”, a blend of the words Black and accent, is the imitation of African American Vernacular English by non-Black people. In the past, Awkwafina was critiqued for using a “blaccent” in the past, and many continue to point out the actress, comedian, and musician’s use of a “blaccent” throughout her career.

Fans took Twitter to lambast the actress for her use of a “blaccent,” and now many are planning on not seeing the film because of Awkwafina.

One example is this Tweet from Mia Tsai, who said:

awkwafina won't do accents but will drop rap songs in a "blaccent" and won't apologize for using it for fame. got it

that's an interesting word choice there. "minstrel" https://t.co/3EASUbgWvf

— Mia Tsai (@itsamia) August 16, 2021

Related: Spider-Man Has New Beef With Captain Marvel

Twitter user Virgo added that because of this they and many others will not being seeing the Marvel movie:

You can take this down, because no one is coming to see #ShangChi, and Awkwafina is anti-Black with her appropriated Blaccent, as so many others have pointed out. No one is going to sit in a theater during a pandemic to watch her for two hours.

— Openly Virgo #StopLine3 (@fangirlsmash) August 16, 2021

It is worth noting that similar accusations of culture appropriate were lobbied against the Asian American actress when she voiced the dragon Raya in Raya and the Last Dragon, currently available on Disney+ and made 122.7 million USD at the Box Office despite being released directly on the streaming platform’s Premier access, similar to Black Widow. 

— جميلة نجمة (@BeaucoupMila) August 20, 2021

However, co-star actor Simu Liu, who plays the Master of Kung Fu in Shang-Chi, has had nothing but kind words for Awkwafina and has thanked her for her kindness on set, saying:

Other fans have come out on Awkwafina’s side, stating that her “blaccent” is actually a typical Queens accent. Awkwafina was born Nora Lum on June 2, 1988, just out of New York in Stony Brook, Long Island, and she has dramatized her experience in the critically acclaimed Awkwafina is Nora from Queens, which is currently airing on Comedy Central.

— Sarah 😝😝 (@StepTFup_KAIyle) April 24, 2018

Related: Marvel Fans Debate the ABSOLUTE Worst Movie

This comes both at a time when the United States has experienced a rise in hate crimes against Asians and as the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus has cases rising and fans are more reluctant to head to theaters.

Well I'm sure as heck not going to a theater with Delta Covid, not that I could anyway since all the local theaters went out of business this past year. Fortunately I'm not concerned with Shang-Chi spoilers and can just wait an extra month and a half to see it. https://t.co/0KPlhIAZFF

— Stephen Major (@StephenMajor) August 12, 2021

Related: ‘Shang-Chi’ Star Auditioned Using Famous Black Widow Pose

Disney made the decision not to a simultaneous Disney+ and theatrical release with Shang-Chi  after the controversy that followed their release of Black Widow (2021) starring Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow. Johansson is currently suing Disney for “cannibalizing” ticket sales by releasing it on the Disney+ streaming service the same day Black Widow came out in theaters.

Marvel Studios officially describes Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings as:

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and head writer David Callaham, the latest entry in the MCU signals that Marvel boss Kevin Feige is committed to increasing the diversity in the Marvel Universe as it expands to the new Marvel Multiverse. Awkwafina is also due to voice Skuttle in the live-action adaptation of the Little Mermaid.

When she is not wishing she could live at Disney World forever, Caitlin spends most of her free time sitting back reading her favorite comic books or listening to any number of murder podcasts. She collects all sorts of Funko pops and Disney toys - she's a child at heart.

ITM now consists of multiple writers living near both Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks and around the world. This allows us to bring you the most interesting, entertaining, and unique entertainment experiences, covering theme parks, movies, TV, video games, special events and so much more.

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Shang-Chi review: Marvel wins again with eye-popping Asian cinema visuals

CNET 27 August, 2021 - 10:22am

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 then maybe it's fitting 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.

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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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