With Black Widow out of the gate, even if it wasn't so smooth, Simu Liu's titular character Shang-Chi is set to make his official MCU debut in a matter of weeks; The Master of Fu will become the first new mainstay addition to the universe in Phase 4.
One of the biggest worries about Shang-Chi's arrival to the world is its performance at the box office. The Suicide Squad has just premiered, and despite its extremely positive critical praise, the numbers were far lower than projected. To many studios, this is a sign of an environment that isn't healthy to be releasing big films.
In fact, Venom: Let There Be Carnage just got delayed thanks to just that––not to mention the Delta Variant of COVID-19 going around. Yet, Marvel Studios is standing their ground with Shang-Chi, having said in a recent Disney Investor Call that it isn't feasible to transition the film into a hybrid release like Black Window.
In the same call, some comments made by Disney CEO Bob Chapek made the Shang-Chi star Simu Liu take to Twitter to defend the film, saying "We are not an experiment. We are the underdog."
At Shang-Chi's red carpet premiere, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was pressed about the stars' intense reaction to Chapek's words:
A SHANG-CHI MISUNDERSTANDING
On the red carpet for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, The Hollywood Reporter talked to Kevin Feige about Simu Liu's aggressive tweets in what seems to be a defense against Disney's CEO Bob Chapek's comments during the Disney Investor call, where he called Shang-Chi an "interesting experiment."
The first thing Feige had to say was that Simu Liu "is not a shy man," going on to say the situation is clearly "a misunderstanding:"
“He is not a shy man. I think in that particular tweet you can see and I think everyone does, a misunderstanding. It was not the intention. The proof is in the movie and we swing for the fences as we always do. With the amount of creative energy we put in and the budget, there’s no expense spared to bring this origin story to the screen.”
THE PASSIONATE SIMU LUI
It was certainly a little awkward when Liu spoke out so strongly defending his upcoming Marvel film. In the context of Bob Chapek's words, it was pretty clear that they didn't mean anything against Shang-Chi as a film.
The topics and representations that come with the film were never the "experiment" Chapek referred to. The CEO was saying the project, which he referred to as an experiment, was to be a benchmark for how their films would perform at the box office and how the studio may adapt in the future in their release strategies.
It was never the case that the studio was experimenting by having an Asian-led film and superhero. His words were simply in reference to how it was going to do in the iffy box office landscape which exists thanks to the pandemic.
Shang-Chi premieres in theaters on September 3, where audiences will meet the next big MCU hero, who brings with him a brand-new world for audiences to fall in love with.