Asian Australians Are Desperate To Get Behind The Release Of "Shang-Chi" But Are Unable Due To The Film's Theatrical Release

    Although this is a history-making moment that Asian Australians are desperate to get behind, Disney's theatrical exclusivity has left them with zero options.

    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.

    Simu Liu as Shang-Chi

    That's because the movie will make cinematic history, ushering in Marvel's first Asian superhero.

    Simu Liu as Shang Chi; he is gripping a long wooden stick and is in battle

    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.

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    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.

    The Shang-Chi movie poster

    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."

    Bob Chapek holding a microphone while speaking on-stage

    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.

    Shang-Chi conjuring a bright yellow orb of energy between his two hands

    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.

    Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

    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.

    hey @Disney, it would be really cool if you could give Asian-Australians the chance to support #ShangChi and @SimuLiu by fast-tracking its arrival to Disney+ we're currently in lockdowns and have zero chance of seeing this important movie — put it on premier access so we can

    Twitter: @Isha_Bassi

    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.


    Twitter: @adamliaw

    With numbers still on the rise, this means that Australians have zero chance of seeing and experiencing this culturally significant film anytime soon.

    Hear, Hear! Or is it Here, Here?!? Either way, my family cannot wait to access #ShangChi from Lockdown, pretty please @disneyplus

    Twitter: @Fi_Choi

    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.

    @Isha_Bassi @Disney @SimuLiu @shangchi Amen! A couple of my friends worked on it and am keen to support it but uhhh there's no option to.

    Twitter: @Kydrasaur

    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.

    YES TO THIS. it's been such a longtime coming, seeing this would have changed my life as a kid. Pls let us watch this, especially for those in lockdown @Marvel @shangchi @SimuLiu @DisneyAUNZ

    Twitter: @ThuyOng

    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.

    Hey @Disney I'm neither Asian nor Australian but I'm not going to a theater with Delta surging and an unvaxxed toddler at home. I would gladly pay $30 to watch this movie at home.

    Twitter: @Rikleen

    @Isha_Bassi @Disney @SimuLiu @shangchi i’m not in Australia, but would prefer the option of staying home to watch it rather than going to a cinema as well! been looking forward to this movie for ages so I hope they do it

    Twitter: @suckerforshoyo1

    Hey, and @Disney @DisneyStudios @DisneyPlusSG @RobertIger Given the current state of the world, I am not stepping into a theater any time soon. So, you can make the $29 for Premier Access off me - gladly paid - or nothing, because I will wait until it is freely on Disney+

    Twitter: @jdeamattson

    All in all, fans just want the chance to support this film and ensure it's a knockout when it opens.

    @Isha_Bassi @Disney @SimuLiu @shangchi Agreed!! This is the ONE movie I really want to review this year given my SEA background (and passionate love for Marvel & the Asian heritage)

    Twitter: @MissDeusGeek

    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.


    According to Disney Australia's website, the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has been pushed to September 16 in VIC, NSW and ACT cinemas.