Warning: This article contains spoilers for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Marvel Studios' 25th theatrical feature Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is blowing the doors wide open to new dimensions of the MCU. Simu Liu's Master of Martial Arts is already making headlines as he works his way up to Avenger status, and fans are thoroughly enjoying the introduction to Asian culture and history within the MCU.
Even besides the inclusion of Infinity Saga Avengers like Carol Danvers and Bruce Banner after the credits, Shang-Chi helped introduce a slew of new faces that are already on their way to becoming fan-favorites.
Meng'er Zhang's Xialing will play a key role in the Ten Rings' future after her father's death, while Awkwafina's Katy came in as one of Marvel's newest stars. She and Simu Liu's titular hero's relationship developed further throughout the plot after ten years of friendship, with both of them helping push each other to new heights along the way.
The very end of Shang-Chi and Katy's time in Ta Lo even teased the potential that the two may end up being the MCU's next big couple, although it was only seen for a moment. Recent interviews with both actors behind the characters gave some insight into where this may lead in the future.
Liu and Awkwafina on Shang-Chi and Katy
MCU star Awkwafina spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the future of Katy and Shang-Chi's relationship after the events of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Although she didn't confirm a romantic connection to be fully formed yet, Awkwafina admitted that it's a "really, really strong friendship" between the two leads right now. She also looked at how Simu Liu's hero "is going through a lot" in his first solo adventure and may not want to take on a girlfriend on top of all that, although it would be built on their existing bond if anything happened:
"I dunno. I think they have a really, really strong friendship, and that friendship is one based on loyalty and a blind trust on Katy's part, for sure, and also kind of an unspoken understanding. I think Shang-Chi is going through a lot in this movie, maybe taking on a kind of neurotic girlfriend [is] not the best thing that you want to do. But I think if anything were to happen, it would be founded on that friendship."
She continued to joke about calling Katy a potentially "neurotic girlfriend" after being complimented on her fantastic relationship advice for Shang-Chi:
"Right? Thank you. Maybe don't. And then he's like, "But now I want you more," as is real life."
Simu Liu added to the conversation about this potential relationship in an interview with The CS Network, sharing his thoughts on whether their friendship may evolve into something more in the future.
He first looked at a scene in the movie with the two in Katy's house, commenting on "little bits of authentic immigrant culture" making their way into the MCU story and joking about how Katy's grandmother is so similar to real-world grandmas.
On a more serious note, he backed up Awkwafina's comments by describing their relationship as "really wonderful" in how they love and support one another with "this carefree energy" they share. He left the decision for them to be together romantically out of his hands, but teased that fans "are just gonna have to tune in" and that he hopes to revisit this story in other movies:
"Oh, wow, yeah. I mean, you talk about little bits of authentic immigrant culture. That nosy grandma is everyone’s grandma, I’m sure of it. I think Shaun and Katy have a really wonderful relationship where they support each other, where they love each other in their way, and they have this carefree energy where they can really, truly be themselves around each other. Whether that’s romantic or not, that’s not necessarily up for me to decide. I think the door is certainly open, but I think people are just gonna have to tune in. Hopefully we’ll get another chance to revisit the characters, and then we’ll see what happens."
Shang-Chi Keeping Friends As Friends
Shang-Chi and Katy's worlds were turned upside down after their encounter with Razorfist on a bus ride to work, forcing them to develop a tighter friendship than ever before.
With Katy learning about her friend's dark past and becoming a warrior in Ta Lo, it's becoming clear that the two can endure anything together. Awkwafina's MCU character was even seen right next to Shang-Chi in his first conference call with the Avengers, putting their trust in each other on full display as she saw the inner circle.
In the end, the only signs that Katy and Shang-Chi may end up together down the line came as they sat next to the lake in Ta Lo and Katy softly laid her head on Shang-Chi's shoulder. While this could mean she's developing feelings for him, it could simply be the first chance the two had to lift the weight of the world off their shoulders and have a moment to unwind.
Given Shang-Chi is in line for future appearances in the MCU, potentially the upcoming Avengers 5, it's a near-certainty that his friendship with Katy will come back into play before long. Although both actors are keeping the door open for a romantic take on their bonds, they are both looking forward to seeing what happens even if they remain just friends.