Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige went on the defensive Monday as he fielded questions about criticism over Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, plus the bombshell suit filed by Black Widow‘s Scarlett Johansson.
The stars of Shang-Chi were gathered in Hollywood to celebrate the film’s release, just 48 hours after the lead Simu Liu appeared to target Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who had dubbed the release strategy an “experiment.”
Feige said of Liu: “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.”
Liu’s tweet read: “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.”
Feige likened the film’s release to that of Black Panther: “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.”
Shang-Chi is a barrier-buster for the House of Mouse, featuring a primarily Asian cast. Tony Leung, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu and Ronny Chieng also star.
He also told THR that he was open to reconciliation with Scarlett Johansson, after she hit Disney with a lawsuit claiming release strategy violated their contract.