Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings begins production this month in Australia, but it's the movie shooting down under just after it on the same stages that has star Simu Liu most excited.
A fan of director Taika Waititi before the New Zealand born creative genius even joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe to re-imagine the Asgardian segment of the franchise with Thor: Ragnarok, Simu - a longtime Marvel fan on his own - is most looking forward to seeing the followup, Thor: Love and Thunder. Liu first met Waititi at Comic-Con International in San Diego this July where Marvel Studios unveiled (most of) Phase 4 of the MCU, including both Thor 4 and the all-new Shang-Chi adaptation.
It's there where Simu Liu wowed the 6000+ attendees in the infamous Hall H with an introduction that first saw him speaking Mandarin, and his charm as a future hero and leader in the MCU. I spoke with Liu a few weeks ago on the phone and asked about what excited him most about all the new projects announced alongside Shang-Chi.
Rob Keyes: You were a fan of [the MCU] from the beginning, like me, reading comics and growing up loving superheroes. When you're on stage, you're amongst so many other iconic characters or characters-to-be. What are you personally most excited for from the other stuff that's coming?
Simu Liu: Oh, man. That’s so tough. I'm a big Taika fan, even before he did Ragnarok. You know, Hunt for the Wilderpeople was a great movie that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love his filmmaking style, and after having gotten the chance to meet him, I love his vibrant personality even more.
So, you know, just as a fan of his, I cannot wait to see Thor: Love and Thunder. And they're actually shooting back-to-back with us, in Sydney. They're moving into our studio space literally as soon as we finish, so that'll be really cool. Hopefully, we'll get to hang out a little bit.
Thor: Love and Thunder brings back Natalie Portman's Jane Foster with a story that sees her become the Mighty Thor. Ragnarok newcomers Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Korg (Taika Waititi) return as well very likely alongside Loki who first returns with a Disney+ solo miniseries thanks to multiverse story setup in Avengers: Endgame.
As for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, this solo debut origin story pays off the story of the Ten Rings and the "real" Mandarin as introduced in the Iron Man movies. We expect Shang-Chi to be a core part of the Avengers in the long-term.
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021