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Simu Liu has bagged the role of the titular protagonist in the upcoming superhero movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, set to release this September. Plenty of actors would backflip through flaming hoops across a pool of sharks and electric eels for the chance to play a Marvel Comics character, but it turns out that Liu started that conversation on social media, of all places.
The move to bring the character of Shang-Chi to the silver screen kicked off in the 1980s, with Stan Lee chatting to Brandon Lee about portraying the martial arts master. The rights for the character expired, and the project landed in the hands of DreamWorks Pictures with Ang Lee on board to direct. However, time ticked on and the movie was not made, so Shang-Chi was back with Marvel Comics once more. In 2005, Marvel Studios announced that a Shang-Chi movie was in the works along with nine other projects, but again, development stalled as the company focused on setting up the canonical universe of the movies for more than a decade.
how it started how it's going #ShangChi pic.twitter.com/ZG6tdWH0tM
- ⩔ Corvus ✪ (@lokisdagger_) April 19, 2021
Evidently, this is something that the big bosses at the company were also conscious of. In 2018, Marvel Studios chose to fast-track the Shang-Chi movie and wanted to ensure that this undertaking would be spearheaded by Asian and Asian-American filmmakers. When the announcement got out, Liu tweeted at the official Marvel Studios account for a second time. "OK @Marvel, are we gonna talk or what #ShangChi," he asked. You've got to give him points for his dedication, at the very least. In the summer of 2019, casting for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings started, and Liu showed up. Two days later, he had knocked the socks off the team with his audition and would be the first Asian lead in a Marvel movie.
- Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) July 21, 2019
If you check out those tweets today, you can see that Liu has a sense of humour about the way things turned out. It's highly likely that his skill in martial arts like Taekwondo and Wing Chun was a factor in his success, as well as his time as a stuntman for Heroes Reborn. Still, it goes to show that it never hurts to ask after the things that you want.
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