Simu Liu is now a Marvel superhero thanks to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and here are the biggest roles he had before his MCU debut.
Simu Liu is a much more recognizable actor after starring in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, but here are the roles he had prior to joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios searched globally to find the right actor to play Marvel Comics’ Master of Kung Fu, and it was announced in 2019 that Simu Liu landed the biggest role of his career to date. This came after he impressed Marvel and director Destin Daniel Cretton during auditions and proved that his martial arts training could allow him to do a great deal of the fights himself. Liu’s charismatic performance in Shang-Chi already proves Marvel made the right call.
Joining the MCU is no small task and has repeatedly elevated the careers of actors and actresses with varying levels of experience. Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans became much bigger stars after joining the franchise, as Iron Man and Captain America respectively. Liu’s ascension is more similar to that of Chris Hemsworth or Tom Holland, though. They went from being relatively unknown actors to leading some of the biggest movies in Hollywood. Liu has only made one appearance as Shang-Chi in the MCU so far, but the breakout role comes after years of smaller roles and gaining recognition.
Simu Liu’s first credited acting role came in the first episode of Nikita season 3 where he placed a desk officer in Maggie Q’s action series. This was the start of Liu getting small roles in web series, shorts, TV shows, and some movies. He also spent some time as a stock photo model, something fans have had fun with since Shang-Chi‘s release. The big break Liu was waiting for came in 2016 with the debut of the Canadian comedy Kim’s Convenience. He was cast in one of the lead roles as Jung, the son of Mr. Kim (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee). Liu played a major role in the first four seasons but had to play a slightly smaller one in Kim’s Convenience‘s final season due to filming for Shang-Chi.
While Liu spent most of his time after 2016 playing Jung in Kim’s Convenience, he also began to appear in several other TV shows. His biggest role was with the Taken TV series starring Clive Standen as Bryan Mills. Liu played Faaron, a member of Mills’ team, during the first season of the show but didn’t return for season 2. He also booked roles in Orphan Black season 5 opposite the MCU’s future She-Hulk Tatiana Maslany, Dark Matter season 3, and The Expanse season 3 as Paolo Mayer. Liu also went on to Philip Wang’s Asian American mini-series Yappie, make a guest appearance on Fresh off the Boat during season 5, and rejoin his Shang-Chi co-star Awkwafina in an episode of her show Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens.
Liu will be quite busy now that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is out and exceeding expectations at the box office. This could even include Shang-Chi returning in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and surely a solo sequel at some point. While those projects are still unconfirmed, Liu has several roles lined up next. The first is Lissette Felicaino’s drama Women Is Losers. Liu will also provide the voice for Izo in Netflix’s Bright: Samurai Soul anime movie and star opposite Mark Wahlberg in Arthur the King. He’s also set to appear with Phillipa Soo and Luke Bracey in the romantic comedy One True Loves. Clearly, fans will get to see a lot more of Simu Liu in the future beyond Shang-Chi in the MCU.
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- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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