During the global press conference for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings this morning, director Destin Daniel Cretton revealed that Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) say they are strictly platonic.
In the new Marvel film, set to release on September 3, Shang-Chi returns home to his father’s deadly organization, The Ten Rings. His best friend Katy tags along with him because they basically do everything together. The relationship is sincerely sweet where they depend on each other for moral support and just to have a little fun in life. Of course, like many Marvel films, people expect most opposite-sex characters to become love interests, but not for Shang-Chi and Katy.
“When [my co-writer and I] were working on this relationship, we actually have a lot of friends who are not the same gender as us and it is strictly platonic, but also very intimate and caring,” says Cretton. “We haven’t seen a lot of that onscreen and we’re really excited to create that relationship between Shang-Chi and Katy. It also just felt naturally like the only way to go with this movie because Shang-Chi is so deep in his own inner struggle. I don’t think there’s emotional space for anything else.”
Shang-Chi is going through an internal struggling trying to figure out who he is and where he belongs. He definitely doesn’t want to join his father’s evil organization, but he also shouldn’t be parking cars for tips for the rest of his life. Instead, the character must confront his past in order to figure out what’s next in his future.
“I don’t think he has room in his life right now. I think there’s so much going on for just like neurotic girlfriend,” adds Awkwafina. “Like, should we go to couples therapy here where we are in Ta Lo with a couples therapist because you’ve been distant.”
Liu joked, “It’s just not the right time for us. It’s not you. It’s me. It’s what I’m going through.”
Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings opens in theaters on September 3.