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Kevin Feige
Kevin Feige

Kevin Feige addresses 'Shang-Chi' star Simu Liu's response to Disney CEO's 'experiment' comment

ANI | Updated: Aug 17, 2021 18:04 IST

By Kevin Feige Addresses 'Shang-Chi' Star Simu Liu'S Response To Disney Ceo'S 'Experiment' Comment
Washington [US], August 17 (ANI): In an unusual set of circumstances for Marvel Studios, the premiere of 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' was recently held just 48 hours after its lead, Simu Liu, took aim at Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who had described the film's release as an 'experiment' for the company.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, on Monday night, the stars of 'Shang-Chi' had gathered in Hollywood to celebrate the upcoming tentpole from the Disney-owned studio.
Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel Studios, put out a tweet during the premiere, and talking about Liu, said, "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. 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."
Disney CEO Bob Chapek, on August 12, fielded a question during an investor's call about keeping 'Shang-Chi' and 'Free Guy' as theatrical exclusives rather than putting the day-and-date on Disney Premier Access, as the company had previously done with 'Black Widow', 'Cruella' and 'Jungle Cruise'.
Chapek called Shang-Chi "an interesting experiment for us" as the film only has a 45-day theatrical window. He added, "the prospect of being able to take a Marvel title to the service after going theatrical with 45 days will be yet another data point to inform our actions going forward on our titles."
Responding to the comment from Chapek, Liu via a statement on Twitter, said, "We are not an experiment," adding, "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."

Feige further also noted that the film's premiere had a similarly impactful feel to that of the celebrations of 'Black Panther'. "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. I think Destin (Daniel Cretton) and Simu have delivered for this movie," he said.
The Marvel Studio's boss even added that he noticed a superhero quality in Liu after "a lot of reads, a lot of auditions" adding "there's no magic formula" in finding the right person for a Marvel hero.
He explained, "It's a feeling. It's a sense of both the ability to be relatable and grounded and, at the same time, take your place in that pantheon of heroes should everything go so well in an origin story they will end up with the other pandemic heroes."
As for what could potentially be next for Liu's 'Shang-Chi', Feige noted "there is a direct line of where he heads to next."
This movie marks Disney's second live-action tentpole featuring Asian leads, which was released amid the pandemic. The first was 'Mulan', which was released on September 4, 2020. That film was available on Disney Plus Premier Access the same day.
Apart from Liu, 'Shang-Chi' also stars Tony Leung, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, Meng'er Zhang, Florian Munteanu and Ronny Chieng. The movie will arrive on Disney Plus 45 days after its September 3 release.
Liu's comments came as another Disney star has been at odds with the company, which is in the midst of a bombshell lawsuit with 'Black Widow' star Scarlett Johansson, who sued Disney over its decision to release the Marvel title simultaneously in theatres and on Disney+ Premier Access.
Johansson claimed the move hurt the box office in favour of juicing Disney's streaming service. As per The Hollywood Reporter, Feige addressed the lawsuit at the premiere, noting he is "all for amicable solutions." (ANI)