Boycotted Marvel Star, canceled by fans – new movie arrives two months later

In September, the Marvel Cinematic Universe won a new hero for its Phase Four roster. When Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings (2021) debuted focusing on bringing a predominantly Asian-American cast into the MCU.

With Simu Liu as the master of Kung Fu, Shang-Chi, action-adventure from director Destiny Daniel Cretton also introduced other new characters to the Marvel Universe, including a completely original character in the form of Katy from Awkwafina, which has drawn criticism from a number of Marvel Fans. Now the actress has landed a new movie.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Comics‘ hit martial artist adaptation debuted in September with a thunderous reception. Breaking expectations, cementing themselves as one of the strongest pandemic era opening weekends. and breaking Labor Day theater records, the addition of Kevin Feige to the MCU, as a Hulk Smash, landed with dominance. The move bolstered Disney’s choice to release new films exclusively in theaters following the fallout between Scarlett Johansson and House of the Mouse over the decision to debut with Cate Shortland. Black Widow (2021) both in theaters and on Disney + Premier Access.

(LR) Meng'er Zhang (Xialing), Simu Liu (Shang-Chi) and Awkwafina (Katy) in Marvel's Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Credit: Marvel Studios

Liu’s new hero was joined by Katy from Awkwafina, along with Tony Leung (Xu Wenwu AKA The Mandarin), Michelle Yeoh (Ying Nan), Ronny Chieng (Jon Jon), Meng’er Zhang (Xu Xialing), Fala Chen (Li), and Ben Kingsley (Trevor Slattery), as well as Doctor strange‘s (2016) Benedict Wong (Wong).

The film also sees a cameo appearance of The Incredible Hulk‘s (2008) Abomination, played by Tim Roth

With a story dealing with heritage, family and responsibility, Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings successfully adapted elements from his comic book roots. However, there have been some notable changes. Shang-Chi’s father was reimagined as Xu Wenwu instead of Fu Manchu from Marvel Comics lore. In addition to this change, Cretton’s Marvel movie introduced an original character in the form of Katy from Awkwafina.

Meng'er Zhang as Xialing (left) Simu Liu as Shang-Chi (Center) Awkwafina as Kty (right) in Marvels Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Credit: Marvel Studios

Earlier this year, Marvel fans accused Awkwafina of cultural appropriation for his use of a “Blaccent” throughout his career. Some viewers felt it was a double standard given Awkwafina’s stance on her own choice of roles. From a recently resurfaced 2017 maintenance the crazy rich asians star said:

“I refuse to do accents. I disagree with someone writing the Asian experience for an Asian character. I say it very clearly, I never go out for auditions where I feel like I am making a minstrel of our people.

awkwafina as katy in marvel shang-chi and the legend of the ten rings character poster
Credit: Marvel Studios

The backlash that followed saw fans declare a boycott of Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings due to its main role in the epic. Now, despite the controversy and the cancellation by some of the public, Awkwafina’s career shows no signs of slowing down.

The actress, who also appeared as Sisu in Disney’s Raya and the last dragon (2021), just cast in Universal’s Renfield alongside Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult. Cage will play Dracula with Hoult as a servant, Awkwafina is in an as yet undisclosed role.

awkwafina at the marvel shang-chi world premiere
Credit: D23

It’s especially interesting to look at Awkwafina’s cast through the lens of cancellation culture and whether audience calls are actually having an effect on a person’s career. In September, the actress address problems with her use of a “Blaccent” stating that she is “open to conversation” and that the situation is something “multi-faceted” and “layered”. It appears to be something Universal isn’t worried about at the moment.

Awkwafina as Katy (left) Ronny Chieng as Jon Jon (center) Simu Liu as Shang-Chi in Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Marvel
Credit: Marvel Studios

Deadline gives more information about the next Universal Renfield:

Tomorrow War director Chris McKay is on board to direct the photo, which is based on an original screenplay by Robert Kirkman. Ryan Ridley wrote the screenplay. Cage will play Dracula.

McKay’s production partner Samantha Nisenboim will join the project as executive producer. The film will be produced by the Skybound Entertainment film crew including Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst and Sean Furst.

What do you think of Awkwafina’s casting in this new Universal project? Let us know in the comments below!

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