With Shang-Chi getting its world premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on Monday, Marvel Studios has unfurled more footage from its next big-screen adventure: a 30-second teaser trailer and a one-minute clip. The former reminds everyone that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe alongside the likes of Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. The latter establishes Shang-Chi’s bonafides as a martial arts expert, as he dangles from bamboo scaffolding while talking on hooded men with blades. At the world premiere meanwhile, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige also addressed the growing “experiment” controversy after the film’s star, Simu Liu, tweeted about it.
Last week, during the company’s quarterly earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek described the exclusive theatrical release of Shang-Chi — unlike the Emma Stone-led Cruella, the Scarlett Johansson-led Black Widow, and Jungle Cruise with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, which all opted for day-and-date releases — as an “interesting experiment” for the latest Marvel movie would stay in cinemas for 45 days before moving to Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar. Chapek said they wouldn’t have the same decision in hindsight as the theatrical market wasn’t as healthy as everyone thought it would be, what with the Delta variant of COVID-19 ripping through the US right now.
But Shang-Chi himself Simu Liu took umbrage at Chapek’s remarks, taking to Twitter over the weekend with his response, alongside four photos of him and cast members from the set of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: “We are not an experiment. We are the underdog; the underestimated. We are the ceiling-breakers. We are the celebration of culture and joy that will persevere after an embattled year. We are the surprise. I’m fired the f**k up to make history on September 3rd; JOIN US.”
Feige was asked about Liu’s comments at Shang-Chi‘s world premiere, and the MCU boss said: “[Liu] 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.”
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is Marvel’s first movie with an Asian superhero in the lead, after the critical and commercial success the studio had with Black Panther — the first Marvel movie with a Black superhero in the lead. Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton noted in a separate interview that it’s also Marvel’s first “purely martial arts movie” and described it as a cross between a “classic kung fu film and a family drama.” For the latter bits, Cretton noted that the Matt Damon and Robin Williams-starrer Good Will Hunting was an inspiration.
The Shang-Chi director wouldn’t be drawn on how his film is placed in Marvel’s new multiverse era following the events of Tom Hiddleston-led Loki, while Feige teased that “there is a direct line of where [Shang-Chi] heads to next.”
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is out September 3 in cinemas worldwide. An India release date has not been set.