Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu is revealing at least one big plot spoiler about the movie: it’s not going to have a big alien dragon Fin Fang Foom as part of its story. Rumors have been swirling for some time that Fin Fang Foom would make an appearance in Shang-Chi; in a recent interview about the film, Liu reportedly admitted that he was happy with the fact that certain “questionable elements” from Marvel Comics – like Fin Fang Foom – weren’t included in the film. So scratch that one off the rumor list.
In the full context of his interview with NBC News‘ Kimmy Yam, Simu Liu was discussing the need for a more expansive few of Asian people and culture on the big screen. While Liu grew up loving martial arts legends like Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Bruce Lee – and even trained in martial arts himself – he wanted more than just that representation of Asian heroism to be seen. The same goes for stereotypes of Asian culture (hence the offhand comment about Fin Fang Foom not being included in Shang-Chi).
“We have a lot of heroes. We have Asian heroes, we have Asian American heroes, men, women, of all ages, and not all of them do martial arts,” Liu said. “But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have their own arcs, their own stories, their own subtleties and nuances. And I think that’s what’s important.”
Ironically, Liu also admits that the Shang-Chi character comes from a complicated history at Marvel Comics, having been in part inspired by Kwai Chang Caine from Kung Fu – and Asian character played by the very white actor David Carradine:
“We saw David Carradine, who is not of Asian descent, playing an Asian man on the show ‘Kung Fu’ that originally should have, and was developed for, Bruce Lee. To have that be the legacy that quote-unquote inspired ‘Shang-Chi’ in the beginning obviously doesn’t put us off to a great start.”
To change the legacy of the Shang-Chi character around, Marvel Studios has put the property in the hands of an Asian director (Destin Daniel Cretton), co-writer (Dave Callaham), and a major ensemble of Asian stars that includes Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, comedian Ronny Chieng, Fala Chen, and others.