Marvel has been making strides when it comes to diversity and representation in the comic book movie genre with films like Captain America and Black Panther. Now, the studio plans to continue forging its progressive stance by introducing its first Asian lead superhero in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Taking to Twitter, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu talks about diversity and representation and why it matters in media. Posting a letter that he wrote on Facebook two years ago, Liu explained why it was so important to him that he would represent Asian culture in the comic book movie genre. Sharing his story on the social media site, the actor reveals that he had always dreamed about playing a superhero long before he had been cast by Marvel as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Shang-Chi.
“When I was struggling to make ends meet as an actor I took on a side job a superhero performer for kids' birthday parties. I could be any hero that didn't directly show their face, because we all know that there we no Asian superheroes out there,” Liu wrote in his letter.
Liu recounts a time when a Batman had to cancel the last minute at a children’s part and so he had to take on the role. The actor was heartbroken when a young Asian boy came up to him and pointed out that “You can’t be Batman! You look like me!”
According to the Marvel star, he just couldn’t stop thinking about that little boy at that party.
"Kid, I promise you, you will never see your superhero onscreen one day. I am working hard every day to make that happen,” the actor wrote.
Now, it looks like Liu’s kept that promise because the actor is now set to join the MCU as Marvel’s first Asian superhero. We can’t wait to see Liu inspire so many other children out there.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings premieres on February 11, 2021.