Shang-Chi's Simu Liu Wants to Avoid Typecasting With Marvel Hero

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Shang-Chi Simu Liu

Marvel Studios' Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opened up a number of doorways for the MCU with its debut, all behind an impressive leading effort from star Simu Liu. The master of martial arts found massive success in his first solo movie, all behind Liu's passion for the character, and the film wound up shattering all expectations both critically and financially.

Liu is quickly taking his place as a massive star in the movie industry, already taking on various projects even outside his commitment to the MCU.

The Canadian megastar first made his name known after his work on Kim's Convenience, which helped kick-start his path to the MCU along with his persistence in talking to Marvel Studios. He's already made a guest-hosting appearance on Saturday Night Live, and he's even in talks to join Ryan Gosling and DCEU star Margot Robbie in the upcoming Barbie movie.

Still, the MCU is one of the most instantly recognizable names in the business, meaning Liu's ties to Shang-Chi are always on fans' minds when looking at his work. Although he clearly loves having the opportunity to star in this record-breaking franchise, he recently made it clear that he's much more than just Shang-Chi.

Shang-Chi Star Is More Than the MCU

Marvel Studios, Avengers

In a recent sitdown with Vanity Fair, MCU star Simu Liu admitted that he wants to be known as more than only the star of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Looking at fellow MCU stars like Chris Pratt and Michael B. Jordan, even though he "doesn't have (Jordan's) face or pectorals," he admires their journeys and their ability to play so many roles.

With upcoming projects like Barbie and Arthur the King, Liu is doing his best to avoid being typecast in Shang-Chi-type roles too many times going forward. He wanted to make sure he has his career going places so that fans don't only say "Simu is Shang-Chi" and only Shang-Chi:

“I was like, If I don’t have something ready to go, it’s going to be ‘Simu is Shang-Chi,’ and that’s it."

Simu Liu Making His Name in Hollywood

Becoming a star in the MCU typically comes with having fans largely associate said stars with their MCU characters due to the franchise's immense popularity. Many of them embrace this status to some degree, even iconic stars like Robert Downey Jr. who have had jam-packed careers outside the superhero world.

Simu Liu is already confirmed to be a major part of the MCU's future plans, as a Shang-Chi sequel and potentially multiple spin-offs are already in development. That doesn't even count a potential fifth Avengers movie, in which he will already know Wong, Captain Marvel, and Bruce Banner after his solo movie's mid-credits scene.

However, even with arguably the biggest franchise in the business under his belt, Liu's ambitions go far beyond just the Marvel universe.

Shang-Chi certainly helped push his superstardom to new levels, and now he's looking to add as many unique roles as he can to his growing resume. And at this rate, it won't be long at all until he has more than just Barbie and Arthur the King on his list of accomplishments.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now available to stream on Disney+.

Release Date
September 03, 2021
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.