Shang-Chi Star Simu Liu Responds to Disney Calling Films Release Strategy an Experiment

Simu Liu, the star of Disney and Marvel’s latest upcoming feature, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is firing back at recent comments made by Disney CEO Bob Chapek. Chapek, during a company investors call this week, commented that the studio would not be releasing “Shang-Chi” on the same day the feature drops in theaters in spite of rising Covid numbers.

Chapek hinted that releasing “Shang-Chi” only in theaters is not a move the studio would make now, citing the “unfortunate” COVID resurgence that the studio didn’t see coming. He said later that “‘Shang-Chi’ we actually think it will be an interesting experiment for us” considering the movie is only going to be utilizing a 45-day theatrical exhibition before going to streaming.

Liu, though, wasn’t too pleased to hear that and took to social media saying, “We are not an experiment. We are the underdog; the underestimated. We are the ceiling-breakers. We are the celebration of culture and joy that will persevere after an embattled year. We are the surprise. I’m fired the f**k up to make history on September 3rd; JOIN US.”

Though Chapek cited the pandemic as the reason the studio even decided to embark on a day-and-date release strategy, he said that because the surge is so recent that it would be too late to give the movie a simultaneous release via streaming. Ironically, just a few hours before the call Sony Pictures announced plans to delay the release of their “Venom” sequel by three weeks.

Although “Black Widow” was one of the top-grossing films of the pandemic (making $60 million alone in Disney+ purchases), the studio appears to be returning to theatrical-only debuts — but Chapek noted that all Disney film releases are considered on a case-by-case basis and decisions are subject to change. Other 2021 releases, including Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” remake, were mentioned with the implication that they will retain their theatrical release date and format.

It’s possible the decision might also have to do with the recent lawsuit being fought by “Black Widow” star Scarlett Johansson against Disney. She is currently suing the company because of their decision to debut the film on streaming.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” hits theaters on September 3

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