Simu Liu Shares the Story of His Shang-Chi Casting

Simu Liu in Kim’s Convenience.
Simu Liu in Kim’s Convenience.
Image: CBC Television

Simu Liu’s (fantastic) casting as Shang-Chi for Marvel’s upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was one of Marvel’s triumphant surprises at Comic-Con last weekend, and now Simu Liu has shed some light on the experience of getting that news so soon before the convention.


In an interview with ET Canada, Liu ran down the surreal, fast-paced experience of his hiring and subsequent appearance at SDCC.

“I waited two days and I had gone online and watched videos of all these other Marvel stars and how they got cast and I think I got it in my mind that Kevin [Feige] likes to call them personally so I thought if my manager calls, it might be bad news but if I get a call from an unknown number, it might be good news,” he explained.”

And thus he continued to wait:

“It’s about 6:19 p.m. Tuesday and lo and behold, I’m in my underwear eating shrimp crackers and there’s an unknown number from Burbank, California. Now I know Disney Studios is in Burbank so my heart’s thumping out of my chest and I jump and am like ‘Hello!’ and it’s the divine voice of Kevin Feige. I’ll never forget it, it’s so calm, it’s so booming. He’s like, ‘Simu, hi. We’d like you to play Shang-Chi. Also, we need you go to Comic-Con in four days.’”

“I can’t describe how I felt,” Liu said. “I think I cried hysterically, I can’t remember if it was on the phone or after, but probably a bit of both.”

Liu certainly deserves the role, and I’m sure he’s not the first actor to cry on the phone to Kevin Feige. Shang-Chi & the Legend of the Ten Rings comes out February 12, 2021, and will see the hero face off against the (real) Mandarin. 


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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.



I am glad that Endgame delivered on an epic ending, but...Look at the catalog of titles above. Looks like 5 movies, and 5 shows set within a 2 year span. And that’s not counting Blade, Guardians of the Galaxy 3, Black Panther 2, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, the next Captain Marvel...all slated for a 3 year span. In 5 years, we are getting 11 movies and 5 shows.

Heck, Phase 3 felt a bit busy with doing 11 movies on its own. Still, is anyone exhausted after an 11 year investment and with how Endgame tied up everything well enough?