‘We are not an experiment’: ‘Shang-Chi’ star Simu Liu responds to Disney CEO Bob Chapek

Shang-Chi film is an experiment to Disney

Actor Simu Liu has responded to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who called “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” an “interesting experiment” in a recent comment. 

Test for moviegoers: On Thursday, Chapek confirmed that the upcoming Marvel Studios film would be released with 45 days of theatrical exclusivity, amid the current increase in COVID-19 infections in the U.S. and other parts of the world, reported The Wrap.

  • “On ‘Shang-Chi,’ we think it’s going to be an interesting experiment,” Chapek said during Disney’s quarterly earnings call. “The prospect of taking a Marvel title to [Disney+] after just 45 days would be an interesting data point.”
  • According to Chapek, the studio’s decision to put “Shang-Chi” in theaters only — rather than a hybrid release on Disney+ — was made when infection rates were much lower.
  • He stated that the film will now be an opportunity to test both the film’s box office and streaming performance under a period shorter than the 90-day theatrical window that other movies in the U.S. originally used before the pandemic.

Not an experiment: Liu, who stars in the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film as the titular hero Shang-Chi, countered Chapek’s statement via Twitter on Saturday saying, “We are not an experiment.”

  • “We are the underdog; the underestimated,” the 32-year-old actor continued. “We are the ceiling-breakers. We are the celebration of culture and joy that will persevere after an embattled year. We are the surprise.”
  • He then called upon moviegoers to join him in order to “make history on September 3rd” when the film officially hits theaters.

Twitter reacts: While Liu’s post generated support from his followers, some Twitter users pointed out that Chapek’s statement was directed toward the release strategy.

  • Supporters agreed with Liu that the film should be seen more than a test for audiences:

  • Meanwhile, others said that Chapek was merely discussing the new release window the film is falling into:

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is having its highly-anticipated premiere in Los Angeles on Aug. 16, 2021, as part of the MCU’s “Phase Four.”

Featured Image via Marvel Entertainment

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