With only one day left to go until its release, excitement for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is at an all-time high.
This feat of Asian excellence will be led by none other than Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu, who you'll recognise from Kim's Convenience. He'll play martial arts master Shang-Chi, who is drawn to the mysterious Ten Rings organisation and forced to confront a past he thought he left behind.
Rounding out the cast of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a notable list of East Asian actors, including Awkwafina, Meng'er Zhang, Fala Chen, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh, Tony Leung and Ronny Chieng.
To say that Shang-Chi will be an important movie is an understatement. The word "important" isn't enough to fully describe how much this film will mean to Asian communities, especially considering the onslaught of anti-Asian hate crimes and violence brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But in the lead up to Shang-Chi's release, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that the movie would be debuting exclusively in theatres as a result of "recent signs of increased confidence in moviegoing."
What this means is that Shang-Chi won't be available on Disney+ Premier Access until after its had its theatrical run — which, in this case, will be 45 days.
That's different to Black Widow, which was released in theatres and on streaming services simultaneously. But, as we all know, that sparked a lawsuit led by Scarlett Johansson over lost income.
In spite of this, Asian Australians are calling on Disney to release Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings digitally and fast-track its arrival to streaming services.
The main reason behind this is simple — most of Australia is currently in lockdown due to the highly contagious Delta variant, which has rapidly increased COVID-19 cases.
With numbers still on the rise, this means that Australians have zero chance of seeing and experiencing this culturally significant film anytime soon.
This isn't only a bummer for Marvel fans, but for those who worked on and starred in Shang-Chi — which was filmed at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney and on location throughout the state of New South Wales.
While the film will eventually be made available on Disney+, this will be over a month after Shang-Chi's release — depriving Asian Australians of the chance to collectively rejoice in this historical moment with the rest of the world.
Others also pointed out that although they don't live in Australia and are able to see Shang-Chi in theatres, they would much prefer to stay at home and pay for it via Premier access.
All in all, fans just want the chance to support this film and ensure it's a knockout when it opens.
While there's been no update from Disney about Australia's situation in relation to Shang-Chi's release, be sure to give it a watch whenever you can. Regardless of everything, it looks like it'll be one heck of an incredible film.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings premieres on September 3.