Benedict Cumberbatch Welcomed 'Shang Chi' Star Simu Liu Into the MCU Like a 'Supportive but Sexy Father'

Marvel has no shortage of highly anticipated films hitting theaters, but Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings have been among the most exciting releases. Now that the film has opened to clear box office success, fans are getting to dive a little deeper into its production and what it means for the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe lore. One fun tidbit from the film’s release is a touching interaction between Marvel Cinematic Universe star Benedict Cumberbatch and newcomer Simu Liu. 

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s cast has become increasingly diverse

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands in ways that no one ever thought imaginable when the franchise began with 2008’s Iron Man, the opportunity for many stars to be brought into the constellation has been ever-growing. At this point, it seems like just about every actor who wants the chance has had at least a cameo in a Marvel film, but that’s not the same as getting to take on a leading role.

Addressing earlier concerns that the Marvel Cinematic Universe stories lacked diversity, Marvel has been making good on a promise to create stories that “reflect the world,” and Shang-Chi served as one step in that direction. It also provided a new face to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Simu Liu, who was previously impressed with a role on Kim’s Convenience, took on the starring part of the Kung Fu master. 

Benedict Cumberbatch welcomed Simu Liu to the Marvel family 

Getting inducted into the vast network of Marvel Cinematic Universe stars has been a pleasure for Liu. When asked about what surprised him most, he fondly recounted getting to meet Benedict Cumberbatch at Comic-Con. 

Cumberbatch portrays the Marvel character Doctor Strange. Though director Destin Daniel Cretton had hoped to make the character appear in Shang-Chi, he was dissuaded after a conversation with Kevin Feige, the Marvel Cinematic Universe producer. 

Still, Liu’s new key status within the Marvel Cinematic Universe has him brushing shoulders with other stars from the franchise, and Insider reports he was delighted to make the acquaintance with Cumberbatch: “we all got ushered onstage to take this group photo, and I feel this hand on my shoulder. It’s Benedict Cumberbatch. Doctor Strange has his arm around me.” Liu went on to say that Cumberbatch welcomed him into the group “Like a supportive but also sexy father.” 

Simu Liu and Benedict Cumberbatch are working on new projects

Both Liu and Cumberbatch will be staying busy when they’re not making fan appearances as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Liu is currently filming a lead role in the upcoming Arthur the King. Despite its title, it is about a dog on an endurance race and not the Knights of the Round Table. He’s also slated to have a starring role in One True Loves, a romance where he’ll play alongside Hamilton‘s Phillipa Soo. 

Cumberbatch is busy on projects of his own. He’ll be showing up as Doctor Strange in both Spider-Man: No Way Home and the much-anticipated Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. For a change of pace, Cumberbatch will follow those projects up with a lead role in the TV miniseries The 39 Steps, a thriller that explores a vast network of political corruption.

Announced projects that are still in the very early stages of development include the drama Rogue Male about a would-be assassin in hiding after a failed attempt to take out a dictator and voicing the protagonist of Magick, an animated film about a writer who discovers magic when his children disappear. 

It’s safe to say that both actors will be staying busy both within and outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but we can hold on to hope that maybe the pair will share a set at some point in the future. 

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