Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu performed a backflip after throwing the first pitch at the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. Liu plays Shang-Chi, a new Marvel hero and the son of Wenwu/The Mandarin (Tony Leung), in the MCU’s 25th film. In Shang-Chi, after spending a decade of his life in San Francisco, the titular hero is forced to confront his father and the mysterious Ten Rings organization. Alongside Liu and Leung is a star-studded and predominately Asian and Asian-American cast including Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Benedict Wong, Fala Chen, and Meng’er Zhang.
Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi was released in theaters on September 3, following multiple delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film is already breaking box office records and is being praised for its performances, representation, and impressive action sequence choreography . The 32-year-old Liu, who has a background in Taekwondo, Wing Chun, and gymnastics, did the majority of his own stunts and fight scenes for the film, which pays homage to classic martial arts movies. Fans, critics, and fellow Marvel actors like Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, and Brie Larson have all welcomed Liu to the MCU with open arms.
On Sunday, Liu appeared at Oracle Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Marvel Night for the San Francisco Giants. While there have been many instances in which celebrities have run into trouble getting the first pitch off the plate, Liu was not one of them. On top of throwing a perfect strike, Liu also pulled off a backflip on the mound, accompanied by a superhero landing. Check out the video below:
In addition to being partially set in San Francisco, Shang-Chi was filmed in various San Fransisco neighborhoods, so the movie has a strong connection to the city. It is also fitting that Liu was able to throw the first pitch the same weekend the film made history. Shang-Chi recorded an impressive $71 million in its first three days, breaking Labor Day box office records.
Liu tweeted about his desire to play Shang-Chi long before Marvel Studios cast the role. When reflecting on the viral tweet, Liu said, he only “dreamt of myself as a superhero in my wildest dreams.” All actors are an intricate part of the promotional process, but Liu has consistently gone above and beyond to shows his support for the film on social media (the first teaser and poster even debuted on his birthday). It it heartwarming to see a genuine and hardworking actor like Liu finally able to live out his dream of being a superhero. And based on an impressive early performance and overwhelmingly positive reactions to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, that dream has only just begun.