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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Simu Liu and Awkwafina make the perfect team in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings trailer

Awkwafina and Simu Liu
Awkwafina and Simu Liu
Screenshot: Marvel Studios

Kim’s Convenience is ending but Simu Liu’s movie career is just beginning—and in a very big way. To celebrate his birthday, Marvel Studios dropped the teaser trailer for Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, featuring Liu as the titular hero, marking the first Asian superhero to get a standalone MCU film.

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The trailer shows Shang-Chi working as a valet attendant, doing karaoke with his friend Katy (played by Awkwafina), and having drinks with Katy and his other friend, Jon Jon (a nearly unrecognizable Ronny Chieng with a red dye job). But no matter how much of a normal life he seems to have, he can’t outrun who he is. Once Shang Chi becomes a hero, his friends are super confused. “Who are you?” asks Katy, after he double-kicks bad guys on the bus. But she seems to embrace it quickly and takes control behind the wheel to help Shang-Chi save people. They barely come out unscathed but she thinks they “make a good team.”

Entertainment Weekly revealed a first look at the movie and interviews with Liu, Awkwafina, director Destin Cretton, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, and producer Jonathan Schwartz. The feature also divulges some plot details: “Simu Liu stars as the young hero, who spent the first part of his life training to become an assassin under his father’s strict tutelage. He’s since walked away and tried to build a somewhat normal life in America, only to find himself sucked back into his father’s sinister domain.”

“The core of Shang-Chi’s arc in the comics is really a family drama,” Schwartz tells EW. “That was something that Destin keyed into really early on in our conversations, the idea of taking this broken family and this really dark, even abusive family background and seeing what that does to a child over time.”

EW explains that at the beginning of the movie, Shang-Chi is living in San Francisco and going about his day like any other twenty-something. “He’s a bit directionless, and he spends most of his time hanging out with friends, like Awkwafina’s Katy. She’s one of his closest confidants, but she doesn’t know much about his history or why he’s no longer in touch with his parents. And she’s definitely unfamiliar with the action-packed world of assassins and kung fu masters.”

“She doesn’t do a lot of the heavy lifting,” said Awkwafina. “But at the end of the day, she has a real heart, and she has a loyalty and dedication to her friendship with Shang-Chi. She’s super brave.”

The MCU doesn’t make misses when it comes to casting (for the most part) and having three actors with comedic backgrounds and dramatic chops bring Shang-Chi’s story to life makes it all very exciting— especially after watching the teaser. Now we just have to wait until September 3 to finally watch Liu make his MCU debut.

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