Simu Liu makes his debut as Marvel's newest superhero in Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings. Liu campaigned for himself to play Shang-Chi in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was ultimately successful in seeing that goal realized.
Shang-Chi's story in the Phase 4 film is deeply personal, involving not only involving his immediate family but his relatives as well who hail from another dimension. He and his sister, Xialing (Meng'er Zhang), represent the unification of two very different worlds - and people.
Simu Liu spoke to Screen Rant about his aspirations for playing a Marvel superhero as well as the fact that he loves our Pitch Meeting videos!
WARNING: This interview contains spoilers for Shang-Chi.
Simu Liu: You’re from Screen Rant?
Yeah - Screen Rant.
Simu Liu: Nice! I gotta say - your Pitch [Meeting] videos are my favorite thing to watch in the world. And I know you’re going to do one on this movie, I know it. I’m expecting it. I’m ready for it, personally. They’re just so funny!
To start off, I’d like to talk about the end of the film as well as the credits scene, about how you’re brought in by Wong into the world of the Avengers and the superheroes...
Simu Liu: You’re putting me in a really tough place, man.
Well, does that mean, based on what we see, that we can expect to see you in Doctor Strange 2?
Simu Liu: Man, you are good. You’re good - but unfortunately for you, I’m better! It was an extreme pleasure to be a part of the MCU, and if and when the call comes for me to return to the universe, I will be more than ready. But beyond that, I have no knowledge whatsoever of any of the future Marvel plans for this character or any other character.
Alright, fair answer.
Simu Liu: I mean, all of the things you mentioned are true. I think it was an incredible way to tell the story of the character and especially leave the door open for potentially more stories to be told. It’s all I ever wanted coming into the MCU, which already was a dream come true, to be able to do it multiple times. And so my fingers are crossed as they possibly can be, to be able to return to the character and the world.
So, then, where would you like to see your character go next?
Simu Liu: There’s this very famous story in which Shang-Chi and Spider-Man have a little team-up moment. I don’t know if you’re familiar with this, but in the comics, Spider-Man needs a little bit of help with his martial arts; he needs to brush up a little bit. And says, yeah, I’ll help you, I’ll develop a whole style based on your abilities - and they call it the Way of the Spider. I’m outing myself as a huge comic book nerd. But that’s something I really want to see and I really hope that Kevin [Feige] gets to see this interview so that he can potentially put it in a future movie somewhere.
Oh yeah, me too.
Simu Liu: Yeah, that’s what I’m looking forward to.
I know it’s been mentioned a lot that, years ago, you tweeted about wanting to play Shang-Chi, but would there have been another character you wanted to play if this didn’t work out?
Simu Liu: God, this is a deep cut. When I was like 22 years old, I wrote this bible for a Sunfire series. So, Sunfire is actually one of the members of the first X-Men team, and he’s a Japanese mutant who got his powers from a young age and grew up in an environment raised by his uncle to hate America. So he starts off as an enemy of the X-Men and then he has this beautiful arc in which he realizes he’s the bad guy - and then he becomes a good guy, then he becomes somewhere kind of in between. He’s a really, really fascinating character, and I thought, hey, it would be really cool to play him. This was before I knew Shang-Chi even existed. I guess you could say I was manifesting superhero roles for myself since a lot further back than that tweet. I’ve always just been such a big fan of the MCU and anything Marvel, really.
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