Disney CEO Bob Chapek made a recent comment on Thursday (August 12) during an earnings call that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is an “interesting experiment” regarding its release plan. Leading actor Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience) took to Twitter with a firey response.
The Shang-Chi actor said that they “are not an experiment” and that the people in the film are “the underdog,” “the underestimated,” and that they are “ceiling-breakers” who are the “celebration of culture” that have continued to “persevere after an embattled year.” He ended on his excitement to “make history” on the film’s release date, September 3.
The release plan for Shang-Chi is different for Disney. So far, it has put movies as a dual release in theaters and its streaming service Disney Plus. Black Widow got it into hot water as it broke the contract with star Scarlett Johansson (Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame), who has sued the company. Now, to probably avoid issues like that, it has decided the upcoming Marvel blockbuster will hit theaters, then 45 days later, it will come to Disney Plus. The only other movie that has done this on Disney’s slate has been the recently released Free Guy with Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool).
Shang-Chi will be breaking ground as it is Marvel Studios’ first Asian-led movie. The studio has made an effort to increase its diversity in the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Between this upcoming release, Eternals in November with its diverse cast, and the Ms. Marvel series hitting the streaming platform, the company is taking serious action to prove itself. The movie will have a stacked Asian cast with its leading star. Shang-Chi also stars Awkwafina (Raya and the Last Dragon), Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians), Tony Chiu-Wai Leung (In the Mood for Love), Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange), Fala Chen (The Undoing), and Ronny Chieng (Crazy Rich Asians).
Shang-Chi will be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12). He will be writing with Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984) and Andrew Lanham (The Glass Castle). Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito, and Charles Newirth will executive produce. Kevin Feige and Jonathan Schwartz will produce.
It is unconfirmed if other Marvel movies this year or next year will follow Shang-Chi for the release plan. The whole industry continues to adapt to COVID-19 with varying plans from theater-only releases, streaming-only, or a combination, whether that is the same day or having the 45-day buffer between. Eternals hits theaters on November 5, and Spider-Man 3: No Way Home is on December 17, so there is plenty of time to see how Legend of the Ten Rings performs for Disney to react on how it wants to distribute its other heavy hitters. These three movies will also dictate what will happen next year as 2023 is supposed to see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on March 25, Thor: Love and Thunder on May 6, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on July 8, and The Marvels on November 11.
We should know soon enough as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is around the corner for its September 3 release date. As the Delta variant becomes a greater issue, anything is possible to happen for the highly anticipated movie’s performance as even the biggest of blockbusters have been hit hard throughout the year.