Canadian actor Simu Liu has been tapped to play the titular character in Marvel’s coming film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Mr. Liu is best known for starring as Jung in the CBC television show Kim’s Convenience. Marvel president Kevin Feige delivered the news to thousands of fans at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday.
Walt Disney Co’s Marvel Studios unveiled a star-packed slate of superhero films for the next two years that includes Angelina Jolie in The Eternals, Mahershala Ali in a remake of Blade and Natalie Portman as a female Thor.
The announcements chart Marvel’s course after megablockbuster Avengers: Endgame, which Disney said was set to top 2009 film Avatar by Sunday as the highest-grossing movie of all time.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which will see Mr. Liu’s kung fu master face off against the Mandarin, is set to come out on Feb. 12, 2021, and will also star Awkwafina and Tony Leung. Mr. Liu said he was just cast in the lead role on Tuesday. It will be the second major film of Marvel Studios’ Phase Four.
Ms. Jolie appeared on stage in front of 6,500 cheering fans, along with other Eternals cast members including Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani and Salma Hayek. The story about a group of immortal aliens will debut in November, 2020.
“I’m going to work 10 times harder,” Ms. Jolie said when asked how she would approach her role of Thena. “We all know what the task is ahead, and we know what you deserve, and so we are all going to be working very hard.”
“So I am in training and thrilled,” she added.
Disney also revealed it will release Thor: Love and Thunder, the fourth Thor movie, in November, 2021. Ms. Portman, who starred in earlier films as the girlfriend to Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, will take up the superhero’s hammer as a female goddess of thunder.
“It feels pretty good,” Ms. Portman said on stage. “I’ve always had a little hammer envy.”
Mr. Ali, who recently won Oscars for Moonlight and Green Book, surprised the audience by walking on stage and putting on a baseball hat with the logo for Blade, a character played on film in 1998 by Wesley Snipes. No details were given, but the crowed erupted in applause.
The films will be part of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that started with 2008’s Iron Man and has generated more than $22-billion at box offices worldwide.
Other coming movies include Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which director Scott Derrickson described as “the first scary MCU movie.”
Scarlett Johansson introduced an action-heavy trailer for Black Widow. In an interview, the actress said having a stand-alone film for the Avengers character was “mind-blowing.”
“I hope it adds a gritty kind of groundedness, that’s like a good punch in the gut, and a literal punch in the gut too,” she said. “We all get the crap beaten out of us!”
Mr. Feige confirmed a forthcoming Fantastic Four film and sequels to Black Panther and Captain America.
Mr. Feige also previewed a Marvel series being made for the Disney+ streaming TV service that will debut in November. They include Loki, Hawkeye and animated What If.
The stories told on Disney+ will weave into Marvel’s movie, Mr. Feige said. For example, Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda will star in the WandaVision series and in the new Doctor Strange film.
“The same teams that work on the movies are going to be working on these mega-event limited series,” Mr. Feige said in an interview. “They are completely intertwined.”
With a report from The Canadian Press