Are y’all excited, too, about the upcoming release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings? It’s scheduled to release on Sept. 3rd, which also happens to be the birthday of Simu Liu, who stars in the title role. I’m reallllllly hoping that our local drive-in theater — Rodeo Drive-In is the best! — is going to be showing it so I can watch it when it premieres. (FYI, I’m not comfortable going back to indoor movie theaters yet.)
If you’re a regular reader of Reel Librarians (thank you!), then you know I’m a huge fan of Wong, the monastery librarian who is also a Master of the Mystic Arts, a character played by British-Chinese actor Benedict Wong. So I think y’all can guess I was excited that it looks like Wong makes a cameo in the official trailer, which got dropped at the end of last month. It looks like Wong is battling Abomination in a cage fight, and this scene shows up at 1:51 minutes into the trailer below:
It certainly looks like Wong, although the character is only shown from the back:
And as this Screen Rant article stated, Benedict Wong was “spotted hanging out with Liu in Australia back in September 2020, around the same time that production for the movie was ongoing.”
I watched a couple of reaction videos to this trailer, and there were differing opinions at the time of the trailer’s release about whether or not it was Wong in the trailer:
- In this Screen Crush video, Ryan Arey from Screen Crush doubts that it is Wong: “A lot of people have speculated that this is Wong, because he was in an Instagram post with Simu Liu, but come on, what would Wong be doing here fighting the Abomination? It makes no sense.”
- In this New Rockstars video, Erik Voss does think it is Wong and has an idea about a possible reason: “[It is interesting] that Wong is fighting in this tournament. It sounds like the stakes of Wenwu’s fighting tournament are so high that every power player on earth needs a champion who’s gonna enter that bracket. So by Wong entering it, it means that the sorcerers need some kind of warrior to compete for it, because kind of like how they were protecting the time stone, these 10 rings falling into the wrong hands could really upset the balance of power between the different dimensions.“
Like I said, my first thought was that it was Wong in the trailer, and I’m not the only one who got excited about that!
- This ComicBook.com article rounded up enthusiastic tweets about the possibility of an Abomination vs. Wong cage match.
- This Screen Rant article mused about Wong’s cameo in the trailer setting up the next Doctor Strange movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
- And this different Screen Rant article points out that it doesn’t look like Wong wins in the fight against the Abomination. Yikes!
It turns out… it really IS Wong! This Rotten Tomatoes article shares an exclusive interview with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige:
Rotten Tomatoes sat down with Feige this week for an extended look at Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the full video of which will be available shortly in the lead-up to Black Widow‘s release. When we asked for confirmation that we had indeed seen The Abomination squaring off against Wong in the closing moments of the Shang-Chi trailer, Feige revealed that our eyes were not deceiving us.
“Yes, we just recently released the final trailer for Shang-Chi,” said Feige. “Some fans said, ‘This looks like a character they hadn’t seen in many years named The Abomination, fighting a character that looks like Wong. And I can say that the reason it looks like that is because that is Abomination fighting Wong.”Joel Meares, “Exclusive: Kevin Feige Confirms That is the Abomination Fighting Wong in the Shang-Chi Trailer,” Rotten Tomatoes, 29 June 2021
And this week in an interview with SyFy Wire, Benedict Wong himself ALSO confirmed his cameo in the movie, and how much it meant for him to be a part of it.
“When Shang-Chi was happening, I was so pleased that it was happening, but I was a little kind of crestfallen I wasn’t a part of it,” Wong shared. “And then the call [from Marvel Studios] came. And I was like, ‘Yes!'”
“I’m super thrilled,” Wong said. “And then to be sat at a table of Asian excellence, it was amazing. […] it’s been constant surprises, that’s what [the role of Wong] gives me.”As quoted in “Benedict Wong Says Joining Cast of Marvel’s Shang-Chi is ‘To Be Sat at a Table of Asian Excellence’” by Tara Bennett, SyFy Wire, 19 July 2021
Woo-hoo!!! I was already excited about seeing Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and with the prospect of seeing more Wong and reel librarian action on the big screen, I’m even MORE EXCITED! If I’m able to catch the movie at the drive-in, I will definitely follow up with a “first impressions” post.
If you want to explore more analyses of Wong’s reel librarian and sorcerer adventures on this blog, check out these past posts:
- Perspectives about Wong’s reel librarian character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (May 2021)
- Reel librarians and archivists in 16 sci-fi films (March 2020)
- 3 reel librarians who have died in the line of duty (Oct. 2019)
- First impressions: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (2019) (May 2019)
- First impressions: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (May 2018)
- Sorcerer librarians of ‘Doctor Strange’ (April 2018)
Do you also love the character of reel librarian and sorcerer Wong? Do you agree with me that Wong is the one who actually did the work of assembling the Avengers? Please leave a comment and share!
- Anderson, Jenna. “Abomination and Wong Return in Shang Chi Trailer Has Marvel Fans Freaking Out.” ComicBook.com, 24 June 2021.
- Bennett, Tara. “Benedict Wong Says joining Cast of Marvel’s Shang-chi is ‘To Be Sat at a Table of Asian Excellence’.” SyFy Wire, 19 July 2021.
- Dumaraog, Ana. “Shang-Chi Reveals Doctor Strange Wong Cameo (Sets up Multiverse of Madness?).” Screen Rant, 25 June 2021.
- Meares, Joel. “Exclusive: Kevin Feige Confirms That is the Abomination Fighting Wong in the Shang-Chi Trailer.” Rotten Tomatoes, 29 June 2021.
- New Rockstars. “Shang-Chi Trailer REACTION! Abomination vs Wong Explained!” YouTube, 24 June 2021.
- Raymond, Nicholas. “Why is Wong Fighting Abomination in Shang-Chi?” Screen Rant, 26 June 2021.
- ScreenCrush. “SHANG CHI Trailer: Every Easter Egg + ABOMINATION Sorcerer Fight Explained! | FULL Marvel BREAKDOWN.” YouTube, 25 June 2021.