You may not have heard of Simu Liu yet, but that’s going to change soon; he’s playing Shang-Chi, the first Asian superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Liu’s casting was announced at Marvel’s panel at Comic-Con today, and seems like a potential movie in its own right. The Hollywood Reporter reports that he was only cast as Shang-Chi a few days ago. “I was cast on Tuesday,” Liu said during the panel. “I screen-tested on Sunday in New York. This is the craziest, craziest dream.” He noted that his parents came to Canada twenty-five years ago and “all I’ve ever wanted was to make them proud.”
Like fellow Marvel character Black Widow, Shang-Chi does not have any powers; he is a master of the martial arts. Tony Leung will be playing the Mandarin (the real one, not the “fake” one played by Ben Kingsley in Iron Man III; at the end of that film, Kinglsey’s character was revealed to be a ruse). Marvel did not announce what role Awkwafina will play.
The film, which will be titled Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, will hit theaters Feb. 12, 2021, and will also feature Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians, Oceans 8), and Chinese movie star Tony Leung.