Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be a milestone in Marvel history, signalling the first time the studio has delivered a superhero flick with an Asian lead — a huge step forward for onscreen representation for the often overlooked community.
Given the atrocious rise in hate crimes against the group in the past year, the arrival of the film’s trailer is important and timely as conversations around tolerance and inclusion continue to take place.
Starring Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, alongside Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu and Ronny Chieng, the movie tells the story of Shang-Chi, who has been trained as an assassin since childhood by the Ten Rings terror organisation.
Having escaped the clutches of the Ten Rings, Shang-Chi tries his best to assimilate back into society and live a normal life but finds himself being drawn back into the organisation.
In addition to featuring a beautifully diverse cast, the film will also celebrate martial arts — a skill which Liu trained extensively to master for his role.
For the actor, the opportunity to provide greater visibility for the Asian community in a superhero film, much like Chadwick Boseman did for the Black community with Black Panther, is one he takes very seriously as he knows all-too-well what it means,
“I’ve heard the classic ‘go back to China’ more times than I can count,” the 32-year-old Kim’s Convenience star told Variety. “The truth is that Asian people have been targeted and discriminated against for far, far longer than COVID has been around. These recent attacks, fuelled by racist rhetoric in the wake of the coronavirus, are yet another reminder that we are only seen as the foreigners, the unwelcome presence…the other.”
The film’s trailer was originally scheduled to drop in a few weeks time, but Marvel decided to surprise Liu by releasing it on his birthday instead, eliciting this excited Tweet from the star:
GHUUFXDTGVXDFGHVCDDTGHUIKKBVCDSTYGHJHGGHHJBVGGFYFYGUBIH THIS IS THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! https://t.co/j1FD3Frpoo
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) April 19, 2021
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be in Australian cinemas on September 2, 2021. Catch the trailer below.