Simu Liu Opens Up About The Jackie Chan Tribute He Pulls Off In Shang-Chi

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has finally arrived, and audiences seem to be pleased with the titular character’s Marvel Cinematic Universe debut. There’s plenty to love, including the layered story, awesome visuals and the sweet references to the greater MCU. Of course, there’s also the amazing action sequences, which may be some of the best the cinematic universe has ever offered up to this point. Amid lead actor Simu Liu’s amazing feats is a sweet tribute to martial arts legend Jackie Chan, and Liu has now explained how that move came about.

One of the Shang-Chi’s key scenes is a fight on a city bus, which pits the hero against several Ten Rings operatives. While dispatching the thugs, Shang-Chi utilizes his jacket in the brawl and skillfully puts it back on after taking down his opponents. Fans of martial arts movies will likely point out that a similar move was used by Jackie Chan in 1995’s Rumble in the Bronx. When CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell spoke with Simu Liu about the move, he confirmed that he was indeed paying homage to Chan and that it was the result of the Marvel movie’s behind-the-scenes connection to the veteran actor:

You know, I still, you know, I watch that back, and I’m like, ‘I still don’t think I’ve mastered it. It very much is a tribute to Jackie and his action design. And I don’t know if you know this, but Brad Allan was our action director, you know, unfortunately passed away very, very recently. And we’re just so shocked and saddened by his loss. But Brad was a pupil of Jackie’s and was one of the first non-Chinese members of the Jackie Chan stunt team and really kind of came up in that environment of Hong Kong action, which at the time was, you know, groundbreaking and took the world by storm. So it’s very much an homage. It’s also very much Brad’s own experience and his choreography - in his mind.

When it comes to stunt work, Brad Allan was a titan, contributing to a number of massive films over the course of his career. Rush Hour 2, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Wonder Woman are only a few of the credits that make up his vast body of work. The late stunt expert really outdid himself on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Simu Liu spoke further about his impact on the film:

And, yeah, I mean, he was responsible for all of the incredible action sequences in our film. Really just put so much of himself in it. And you can really see the heart in all of the different sequences. You know, they’re not just - it’s not just fighting for fighting sake. There’s so much more, there’s, you know, character depth. There’s, you know, there’s love songs and love stories that are told through these fights. And then also, there are so many homages to different, you know, it wasn’t just Jackie, but it’s, you know, the Crouching Tiger [Hidden Dragon]. It’s the Hero of it all. It really… like the influences extend so much further back.

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While the superhero influences in Shang-Chi are nice, it was definitely sweet to see just how much the film calls back to numerous films within Asian cinema. Fans who’ve yet to see the film may want to do themselves a favor and check out some classic films in order to prepare for it. Of course, at the same time, they can also get themselves ready by streaming past MCU movies on Disney+, which you can sign up for using this link.

Shang-Chi’s ending leaves the door wide open for a sequel and, hopefully, that becomes a reality so that we can see more impressive martial arts moves. Moving on without the great Brad Allan would likely be bittersweet for the cast and crew, but one would imagine that they’d make him proud and honor his extensive legacy as they move forward.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now playing in theaters.

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.