The hotly anticipated Marvel movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has finally announced its first-ever Chinese hero – and he’s Canadian!Simu Liu, who is best known for his role on Kim’s Convenience , will star as Shang-Chi (dubbed the master of Kung-Fu) alongside Awkwafina and Tony Leung in the flick.
The casting is a huge breakthrough for the 30-year-old actor, who immigrated to Canada with his family from China when he was just five years old. He reportedly took up acting after being laid off from an accounting firm in 2012, and landed this role after a whirlwind audition process.
"I feel like I was kind of this social experiment," Liu joked with the audience during the announcement at Comic-Con. "Let's just take this guy, an ordinary guy, living in Toronto. Let's tell him he's going to be in the next Marvel movie and give him four days to prep for it… This is just the craziest, craziest, dream.”
Simu also paid homage to his parents during the press conference.
“[They] immigrated to Canada with nothing but their hopes and dreams to build a family, and build a life for their kids,” he said. “All I’ve ever wanted to do when I was growing was make [my parents] proud… What I’m trying to say is, I’m really happy I’m not a doctor. So, take that mom and dad.”
News of the hiring is being praised by almost everyone in Hollywood, including Kevin Feige , the president of Marvel Studios.
"He'll be a household name soon enough," he told CNN of Liu after the announcement on July 20. "Our films play around the world and we want the films to reflect that world… When you have people in front of the camera who reflect [diversity] it's great for audiences, when you have people behind it who reflect it, it's great for us because you get better stories and better ideas."