Shang-Chi Director Recalls Reuniting With That Surprise Marvel Cast Member

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings skyrocketed into theaters this past weekend, introducing the newest hero into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The origin story of Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) ended up diving through some surprising aspects of Marvel canon, with cameos and Easter eggs that fans might not have been expecting. That included some key Avengers members in the film's mid-credits scene — and director Destin Daniel Cretton is speaking out about a particularly significant one. During an appearance with Liu on ComicBook.com's Phase Zero podcast, Cretton spoke about reuniting with Brie Larson, who portrays Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel in the MCU, in the film's mid-credits moment. Cretton and Larson have worked together multiple times in films such as Short Term 12, The Glass Castle, and Just Mercy — and according to the director, crossing paths again in such a massive context was surreal.

"It was really cool," Cretton explained. "When she showed up, and I went and said hi to her in her trailer, and we caught up a bit because I hadn't seen her in a while, and then I went to set. We got everything ready for her, and then she stepped onto set as Captain Marvel, and that's the first time I've ever seen her in that costume up close, and it was super surreal. We both just started laughing because ... I mean, I think Simu and I had many moments like this too where we'd just look at each other just going like, "What the hell are we doing here?" That's how we felt on that stage. When we were on that stage in front of those 8,000 fans, we were just like ... As soon as we stepped off, we started laughing, and that's what it was between Brie and I on that set, just like, "What am I doing in that director's chair, and what are you doing in that suit?" But yeah. It was a joy to see her."

Ever since Cretton had been named as Shang-Chi's director in 2019, speculation had swirled around whether or not Larson could factor into the film, given their past experiences of working together. In September of that year, the director had remarked that he thinks "there's always room for Brie" in any of his films, but that "we'll see" what happens.

"We talked about it being Brie, but we did not know that it could make plausible sense that Brie could be there," Cretton said in a separate interview about developing the mid-credits scene. "I mean, it obviously helps that we ended up landing on hologram versions of these characters so they can just step away and get back into whatever crazy stuff they're dealing with. And I'm not even totally aware of what they're dealing with. All I know is I pitch ideas, and the only time that ideas get kicked back is if it doesn't make logical sense to other ideas that are percolating for those characters."

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now playing in theaters.

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