There’s been a lot of drama in the usually well-oiled Marvel Cinematic Universe of late. First Black Widow underperformed (after a pandemic-best opening weekend). Then its star, Scarlett Johansson, sued Disney, who owns the MCU, for releasing the film PVOD on Disney+. Over the weekend, another Marvel actor came for his bosses: Simu Liu, star of the forthcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, took issue with Disney CEO calling the film an “experiment.” Now MCU honcho Kevin Feige has tried to clear the air.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Feige took some time during the film’s premiere to address the kerfuffle, which he said was a misunderstanding. What Chapek was referring to when he called the film an “experiment” was not, as Liu thought, the fact that it has a mostly Asian cast. He meant that it’s their first film that will have a 45-day theatrical window before being made available on streaming.
Feige cleared that up in diplomatic fashion, saying of Liu, “He 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.” He also praised the film itself. “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.”
The exec did discuss the issue of race, but he did so by comparing the film to Black Panther, which was the franchise’s first with a mostly Black cast. “When you have the opportunity to showcase a hero that looks like a huge segment of the globe that feels like they haven’t been showcased, the magic can happen if you deliver,” he told the crowd. “I think Destin [Daniel Cretton, director] and Simu have delivered for this movie.”
When Chapek’s comments were first made available, Liu pounced, tweeting, 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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/IcyFzh0KIb
— Simu Liu (刘思慕) (@SimuLiu) August 14, 2021
Shang-Chi, which also features Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, and Tony Leung, opens in theaters — and in theaters only — on September 3.