Black Panther paved way for Shang-Chi, says star Simu Liu

NEW YORK – Marvel’s next big-screen superhero spectacle, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, opens on Sept 2, aiming to thrill audiences while breaking Hollywood barriers with a predominantly Asian cast.

The movie’s stars said the film follows the path blazed by Black Panther, the 2018 Marvel movie starring the late Chadwick Boseman and a predominantly African-American cast that became a global blockbuster. 

“I think Black Panther paved the way for a movie like Shang-Chi to exist,” said star Simu Liu, who plays the title character. 

“If that movie weren’t as incredible and as successful as it was, we would not be in a position where we have a movie with a predominantly Asian cast.” 

He said Shang-Chi features “so many badass Asian heroes and heroines, each with their own perspective, each with their entry point to the story and their own set of motivations and dimensionality”.

“That’s what’s critically important,” Liu added. “That’s what good representation is.” 

Simu Liu (right) and Awkwafina in Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings.THE WALT DISNEY CO

At the start of the movie, Shang-Chi is living an unassuming life as Shaun in San Francisco when he is drawn into battle on a bus that careens through the city’s streets. The event forces him to head back home to Macau and confront his past and the mysterious Ten Rings organisation.

Awkwafina co-stars as Shang-Chi’s close friend Katy and Hong Kong acting legend Tony Leung as his father.
Critics have applauded the film, which earned a 92 per cent positive rating among reviews collected on the Rotten Tomatoes website.

“A movie like this would have blown my mind as a kid,” said director Destin Daniel Cretton. 

“To be able to watch characters like this who look like me and have personalities similar to my friends, and dress like me and listen to the same kind of music. And then watch them go on this crazy journey to take them to superhuman levels.” - REUTERS