He is still aware of his status as the first Asian-American actor to star in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shang-Chi star, and Legend of the Ten Rings Simu Liu, far from one aspect of the protagonist’s costume design: his tennis shoes, gymnastics.
In an interview with Inverse, Liu said, “I remember seeing his first comedy appearance and thinking, ‘Well, that’s offensive. “I canceled it right away.” The film offered modern clothing and shoes to Shang-Chi, but Liu was not entirely happy with that type of shoe: “I was fighting this in the first place. I remember trying on the costume and thinking to myself, “Was he the first superhero to walk in running shoes? Do it.”
In the film, Shang-Chi wears black Air Jordan Access high-top sneakers with red trim and white rope, shoes that are neither rare nor high-end. In the end, Liu liked that aspect. “At the beginning of the show, I thought, ‘Oh, that’s great.’ This makes it accessible,” he said.
Not all heroes wear combat boots – Quicksilver wore Adidas shoes in Avengers: Age of Ultron – but Shang-Chi from the original Master of Kung Fu comedy was almost always barefoot. Her usual dress was a red category with a blue belt and gold edges on tunics and cuffs on sleeves and trousers, and a red belt and silver bracelet on top. Over time, his appearance has evolved as Bruce Lee’s action star, often even shirtless. For later interpretations of Shang-Chi, he wore red overalls or black leather jackets and a giant tattoo of a dragon; His current appearance in the comics carries him in red tones with gold dragon scale armor and green trousers.
MCU concept designer Andy Park said, “There was no task to keep Bruce Lee rude” as he worked on several projects for the film version of Shang-Chi. “I researched that they were not even comics, but an ancient Chinese culture with a very western and very urban feel.” Park said he added sneakers to the mix to portray Shang-Chi’s development as a man with roots in Chinese tradition, careful to merge with the West after moving, despite not mentioning that Jordan’s shoes should be it.
Liu said, “I think the most revolutionary thing we did with our film was to portray one, an Asian American, who was in three dimensions.”
Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings are streamed on Disney +.