Despite Marvel’s various Disney Plus exploits, the pandemic has starved us from big screen releases for over a year. Luckily, Black Widow came to the rescue earlier this summer with her first solo venture, which will be followed by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in September.
As our Shang-Chi review reveals, it’s well worth the wait, but star Simu Liu has revealed he was worried the film wouldn’t make it to cinemas at all – and the pandemic is to blame for his fears.
“It was hard for a lot of us,” Liu told RadioTimes.com in an exclusive interview. “We shut down our production in March, barely two months after we started shooting. There was definitely a time when we weren’t sure if, you know, we would finish making this movie.”
Shang-Chi was originally meant to hit cinemas in February 2021, but suffered several delays due to the ongoing pandemic. “As you know, it moved a bunch of times,” Liu explained. “But, well, we’re finally here. We’re finally in the moment. And we’re finally at a point where people are watching it, and reacting to it, which is fantastic.”
He added: “I think we knew that we were probably going to, but there was just so much uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, and how long it would last, and how devastating it would be, that we really didn’t have any answers for a while.
“And then thankfully, we were kind of in a bit of a pocket in Australia, and things started to open up, and we were able to return to filming in July.”
Liu praised the cast and crew for getting “getting the movie to the finish line without a single positive COVID test across all those weeks”.
Co-star Meng’er Zhang, who plays Shang-Chi’s estranged sister Xialing, added, “During that time, I missed everyone.”
Luckily, it looks like the cast still managed to bond over the pandemic. “We managed to play some online Monopoly games together with Simu and Fala [Chen],” Zhang revealed, “and we still had a lot of fun, and we talked about our characters together.”
Unlike Liu, Zhang “never had a doubt” that they would finish the film. She said: “We were going to make the film, and make the world fall in love with it.
“We were taken very good care of by Marvel and Disney. We were just really excited to continue filming. And, yeah – just a very happy family reunion.”
Additional reporting by Huw Fullerton.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be released in the UK on Friday 3rd September. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Movies hub for the latest news.