Marvel Studios' Phase 4 is not only continuing the stories for heroes set up in the Infinity Saga as the current run with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier but is also introducing a hoard of new faces over the next few years. This calls for dozens of new stars to take their places alongside the Marvel Cinematic Universe's regulars, and those ranks are already being filled in with some impressive names.
Marvel utilizes a couple of different methods in order to find the right names for the multitude of new characters that will carry the MCU for years to come. While there are some unusual cases like that of Ironheart star Dominique Thorne, who didn't even have to audition for the role of Riri Williams, most have a number of suitors for the studio's casting team to work through.
That audition process recently included a man who already had experience in another Marvel project, but remains absent from the MCU for now.
LEWIS TAN TALKS SHANG-CHI
In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Deadpool 2 star Lewis Tan spoke about the moment he found out he'd be starring in the upcoming film, Mortal Kombat. During that process, he revealed that he had 'just lost a crazy job," which was a devastating blow for him at the moment:
"I just lost a crazy job -- a really, really high-caliber level job -- and I heard that news on a plane to Japan and I was, like, devastated."
Tan confirmed that the job "was for the role of Shang-Chi" in Marvel Studios' second upcoming film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which would have been a smooth transition for him after appearing as Shatterstar in Fox's Deadpool 2. When he found out he didn't get the part, he revealed that a "meditation course" helped him get back on track:
"I did this mediation course, and I came back and then I was on my way to Nashville, Tennessee, to race cars at NASCAR..."
The role ended up going to Kim's Convenience actor Simu Liu, who coincidentally is a good friend of Tan's. Tan projected confidence that "(Liu's) going to do a fantastic job with the material," showing his humility and grace even with such a tough blow.
Looking at the big picture, Tan reassured himself that "everything happens at the right time," and he is genuinely excited that "diverse people are leading these amazing films" within the MCU:
"Everything happens at the right time [for] the right reason and looking back on everything that played out, I wouldn't change it for an instant. I'm very grateful for the opportunity, and I'm very grateful that just diverse people are leading these amazing films. To see our faces that are usually looked over and looked past and to have that opportunity to be part of that change that I didn't get to see when I was growing up, I'm honored to do that and I'm happy for everybody else."
NO SHANG-CHI FOR DEADPOOL STAR
Lewis Tan had a small but memorable role in Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool 2 as the alien warrior Shatterstar before he was unceremoniously chopped into tiny pieces by helicopter blades. Even though he was surely hoping his previous experience with Marvel would give him an advantage, he holds no ill will toward Simu Liu as he takes on this exciting new character.
For Tan himself, there will hopefully be more opportunities for him to join the MCU in another role in the future. With projects like Mortal Kombat and even other Marvel outings like Iron Fist under his belt, he should have a fairly good chance at finding himself working for Marvel Studios sometime in the next few years.
In terms of Liu winning the role, Tan is yet another voice of support for one of the MCU's most enthusiastic rising stars coming to prominence. He has shown off his martial arts skills in numerous homemade videos, and even with no footage released from the film yet, fans are ecstatic to see what he can do with the support of Marvel Studios behind him.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to debut in theaters on September 3, 2021.