Shang-Chi star Simu Liu promises the first trailer for the upcoming MCU movie will be worth the wait after it didn't release during Super Bowl.
Star of the upcoming MCU movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Simu Liu promises the trailer will be worth the wait. The Chinese-Canadian actor plays the titular Master of Kung Fu, which makes him the first Asian superhero to headline a tentpole Marvel franchise. The film from director Destin Daniel Cretton is currently scheduled to release in July 2021.
Though a Shang-Chi project has been in development for some time, it was fast-tracked in late 2018 following the smash success of Black Panther, which encouraged Marvel Studios to prioritize diversity in both casting and storytelling. They hired actors and creatives of Asian descent with the hopes of making a similar landmark for on-screen representation, and Liu himself has argued there would be no Shang-Chi without Black Panther. Audiences have eagerly awaited their first look at the final product since the title was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, but pandemic-related production delays have kept them waiting.
Many fans were hoping Disney would debut the first Shang-Chi trailer during the Super Bowl, when many new trailers for high-profile movies release each year. That didn't happen - viewers were instead treated to a new The Falcon and the Winter Soldier trailer, along with another look at the animated Raya and the Last Dragon. Liu decided to step in and stave off any potential disappointment, promising on Twitter that the new TV spot will be well worth the wait. He even included a gif from his sitcom Kim's Convenience that seems to suggest some commiseration on his part.
With how busy Marvel's 2021 release schedule currently is, prioritizing Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan's Disney+ series over Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings makes sense. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a lock to start streaming in March, while the July date for Cretton's film is likely far more tentative. Disney is committed to giving their MCU blockbusters a theatrical release but no one knows when the state of cinemas will return to normal, and the long-awaited Black Widow movie is still ahead in the pecking order. With as expensive as advertising campaigns can get, Marvel will likely want to hold onto the promotional material they have until they're more confident Shang-Chi will release on time.
That it makes business sense is unlikely to make waiting any easier for fans, though. Beyond finally getting a look at Liu as Shang-Chi, everyone is eager to see acclaimed Hong Kong actor Tony Leung's take on The Mandarin, the villainous leader of the Ten Rings terrorist organization. Some might be wary after the character's first MCU appearance in Iron Man 3, when he was controversially exposed as the drug-addicted actor Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley), but it seems unlikely Marvel would pull the same trick twice. The casting of Awkwafina and Ronny Chieng, two actors with strong comedic chops, also has fans wondering what kind of tone Cretton will be going for. A Shang-Chi trailer might provide some insight, but for now, everyone will have to be content with blind speculation.