While Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings continues to defy initial expectations, having grossed over $200 million in its first week of release, the superhero blockbuster’s overall box office prospects could be about to suffer a blow with reports that a release in China is now in doubt.
According to Deadline, leading man Simu Liu has found himself the subject of controversy after comments he made to CBC back in 2017 began circulating on Chinese social media, whereby the Canadian-born actor made reference to his parents describing China under communist rule as a “third world” country where people were “dying of starvation”.
China only approves a certain number of Western film releases in the hugely lucrative market, and – as with the Scarlett Johansson-led Black Widow – Shang-Chi was yet to receive a date in the Middle Kingdom. Now it seems it may end up on the shelf, along with Marvel’s next release Eternals, whose director Chloe Zhao run afoul of the Chinese government herself with some old comments of her own which led to her Oscar-winning Nomadland missing out on a release.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy) and stars Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience) as Shang-Chi, Tony Leung (Infernal Affairs) as Wenwu, Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) as Katy, newcomer Meng’er Zhang as Xialing, Michelle Yeoh (Star Trek: Discovery) as Jiang Nan, Ronny Chieng (Crazy Rich Asians) as Jon Jon, Fala Chen (The Undoing) as Jiang Li, Florian Munteanu (Creed II) as Razor Fist, and Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange) as Wong.