Mortal Kombat and Deadpool 2 Star Lewis Tan Speaks Out on Losing Shang-Chi Role

Into the Badlands star Lewis Tan really wants to be a superhero. He got to play Shatterstar for a few moments in Deadpool 2, and then he almost got the part of Shang-Chi in Marvel's upcoming blockbuster Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He lost out on the part -- it went to his friend Simu Liu -- but rebounded pretty quick, earning the role of Cole Young in Mortal Kombat, ,Warner Bros.' upcoming adaptation of the long-running video game franchise. During a new interview in support of Mortal Kombat, Tan told Entertainment Tonight about the crushing disappointment of losing out on the Shang-Chi job, juxtaposed against getting Mortal Kombat shortly after.

Tan, who congratulated Liu on social media when he was cast, had been a fan-favorite to play the title role in Marvel's first movie with an Asian-heritage lead. He still maintains that he believes Liu is going to do a great job in the role, but acknowledges it stung for a minute.

"I just lost a crazy job -- a really, really high-caliber level job -- and I heard that news on a plane to Japan and I was, like, devastated," Tan told ET, setting the stage for the Mortal Kombat story. "I did this mediation course, and I came back and then I was on my way to Nashville, Tennessee, to race cars at NASCAR -- I was like, 'Maybe I'm the first Asian person to ever be in this place before!' -- and all of a sudden I get a phone call saying I got the role in [Mortal Kombat]. I was supposed to drive a car that day and I ended up not doing it because I was like, 'Uh oh! I need to be safe now because I've got an opportunity here.'"

In addition to Shatterstar (who died quickly as part of a gag in Deadpool 2 that killed off most of X-Force), Tan had a brief role in Iron Fist, playing the part of Zhou Cheng -- a part that's unlikely to come back again given the nature of the MCU's relationship with the Netflix shows.

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With only about five months before the movie is released (at least in theory), Marvel Studios has only released cast information for Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings. That's even though it was set for a July release until it was delayed very recently..

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is currently set for release on September 3rd.