Kevin Feige on Simu Liu's Response to Disney CEO's "Experiment" Comment About Shang-Chi - VRGyani News and Media

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Kevin Feige on Simu Liu's Response to Disney CEO's "Experiment" Comment About Shang-Chi

Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige addressed Simu Liu's response to Bob Chapek's "experiment" comment at the premiere of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on Monday night.

The drama began on Aug. 12 when Chapek, the CEO of Disney, called Shang-Chi "an interesting experiment for us" on a call with investors.

"The prospect of being able to take a Marvel title to the service after going theatrical with 45 days will be yet another data point to inform our actions going forward on our titles," Chapek said on the call.

Two days later, Liu took to Twitter to respond, writing, “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.”

Now Feige has weighed in on Liu's tweet, and as always, he brings a valuable, measured perspective.

“He is not a shy man. I think in that particular tweet you can see -- and I think everyone does -- a misunderstanding. It was not the intention. The proof is in the movie and we swing for the fences as we always do. With the amount of creative energy we put in and the budget, there’s no expense spared to bring this origin story to the screen," Feige told the Hollywood Reporter at the film's premiere.

RELATED: 'Shang-Chi' Star Simu Liu Shares Set Images, Slams Disney Calling Release Strategy an "Experiment"

Though Chapek's comment certainly did raise eyebrows, I can see what Feige is getting at, as it's entirely plausible that Chapek was merely addressing the release strategy for Shang-Chi rather than the Asian-led content itself. Though I believe Chapek called the film "an interesting experiment" because it represented a new kind of data point for the studio as the first Marvel movie that will have just a 45-day theatrical window, though it's easy to see how Chapek's comment may have been misconstrued.

Either way, Liu is absolutely right -- Asian-led movies of any genre shouldn't be seen as "experimental" projects. They're just good business. Same as movies starring Black people, and the same as movies with white people. Sure, every movie is just a data point these days, but Shang-Chi clearly arrives with some deep cultural implications, just as Black Panther before it.

Feige even seemed to reference that film in addressing the global impact of Shang-Chi.

“When you have the opportunity to showcase a hero that looks like a huge segment of the globe that feels like they haven’t been showcased, the magic can happen if you deliver. I think Destin [Daniel Cretton] and Simu have delivered for this movie,” said Feige, who was also absolutely right in saying that Marvel spared no expense for its latest barrier-breaking superhero movie, which boasts a comparable budget to other MCU titles.

Both Shang-Chi and the Ryan Reynolds movie Free Guy are being released exclusively in theaters, rather than simultaneously on Disney Premier Access, which is how Cruella, Jungle Cruise, and Black Widow were released. The latter movie has been in the news lately following Scarlett Johansson's lawsuit against Disney, and Feige's name has been dragged into many of those reports.

Feige didn't offer up much about the legal tiff, though he told THR that he is "all for amicable solutions," which is the kind of diplomatic soundbite I think you have to expect from someone of his stature at this stage of the standoff.

KEEP READING: New 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' IMAX Poster Embraces the Hero's Mythology With Powerful Dragons



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