Shang-Chi Star Simu Liu Explains How Marvel Studios Pulled Off That Trailer Surprise On His Birthday

Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) looks confused in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Last month, fans were finally graced with the first trailer for Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The wait was long, but the trailer met expectations and delivered some cool footage that teases an action-packed new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although fans weren’t expecting the trailer, they weren’t the only ones, as the film’s star, Simu Liu, didn’t know it was coming, either. Marvel Studios purposely hid the reveal from him so that it would be a birthday surprise for the actor. Now, Liu has opened up about how Marvel was able to pull the whole thing off.

The debut trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings dropped on the same day as the teaser poster, which Simu Liu shared on social media beforehand. However, in his post, the actor mentioned that the first footage wouldn’t arrive until a few weeks later and was later surprised to see it online. During a recent chat with People, Liu recalled how “under-prepared” he was for the big reveal:

It came out on my birthday, and nobody told me that it was coming out on my birthday so I was a little under-prepared. A couple of days before my birthday, Marvel contacts me and they're like, 'Okay, well, we want to debut the teaser poster. So will you help us do that?' I was like, 'No problem.' I thought, 'This is such a wonderful birthday gift. I'm down.'

Simu Liu was only expecting one present from Marvel Studios this year, but the company ended up giving him the perfect follow-up gift. And as you can imagine, Liu was more than thrilled to have received it:

It was a pretty incredible moment. I'm sure that they don't do that for everyone, so I felt very special. It was really, really cool.

It’s safe to say that the internet found the moment to be cool as well. The Shang-Chi trailer dominated social media buzz the day it dropped, with many excited for the action but also marveling at the fact that it’s the first MCU film with a predominantly Asian cast. And on top of everything else, many fans and celebrities also took the time to send Simu Liu well wishes on his special day.

Aside from hyping up Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Simu Liu has been quite active on social media, sharing fun tidbits such as his quarantine workout. He’s also been incredibly vocal in the midst of the anti-Asian discrimination that’s been prevelant in the US. Needless to say, the man hasn’t even made his Shang-Chi debut but has already become a hero.

Simu Liu’s Marvel birthday surprise is definitely one for the books, but the biggest gift for him will likely be the chance to watch himself and his co-stars on the big screen during the film’s premiere. With the COVID-19 pandemic slowly turning a corner, let’s hope they’ll have that opportunity. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters on September 3, 2021.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.