Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to introduce a brand-new hero into the MCU, in the form of Simu Liu’s titular martial arts master. We’re expecting this to be just the beginning of Liu’s Marvel career, then, with sequels and crossovers and team-up projects no doubt coming his way. And it’s likely that another major player from Shang-Chi’s origins movie could have a future in the franchise, too.
We’ve heard from our sources – the same ones who told us that the Mandarin would serve as the film’s main villain, long before that was confirmed – that Awkwafina will be back for more appearances as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy Bashir after the incoming flick. We’re told that the Jumanji: The Next Level star has signed a deal with the studio to stick around for multiple MCU projects.
From what we’ve seen in the marketing materials, Katy is Shang-Chi’s best friend who works with him as a hotel valet in San Francisco. She’s unaware of the truth of his origins and fighting prowess until he’s drawn back into the Ten Rings organization, run by his father, Wenwu (Tony Leung) AKA the Mandarin. The trailers make clear that Katy sticks by him as the hero has to enter into a fierce tournament. As you’d expect, Awkwafina is mostly providing comic relief, though the duo’s friendship will also be a core part of the story.
Following her prominent role as the eponymous dragon in Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon, it looks like the studio is looking to keep a hold of Awkwafina, which makes sense as she’s risen up to become a major star over the past couple of years. We haven’t received any details about where Katy could appear next, but it seems safe to assume she will show up in conjunction with Liu’s Shang-Chi.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is coming to theaters on September 3rd.