Simu Liu and Awkwafina are open to the idea of Shang-Chi and Katy’s relationship becoming romantic after Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The second film of Phase 4 introduces a new batch of characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Liu headlines the predominantly Asian cast as the Master of Kung Fu, with Tony Leung, Meng’er Zhang, Michelle Yeoh, and Awkwafina filling out the ensemble around him.
Although most of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings focuses on Shang-Chi’s complicated relationship with his father Wenwu and sister Xialing, the other relationship at the center of the movie is between Shang-Chi and his best friend Katy. The movie explains that Shang-Chi and Katy have been friends for the last 10 years, and the chemistry between Liu and Awkwafina is one of Shang-Chi‘s many highlights. The movie never pushes their friendship past the platonic stage, but there is room for a romance to develop between them, and audiences are likely to be interested in seeing that development take place.
Now that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is out in theaters, the support for a romance between Shang-Chi and Katy is already growing. As part of the massive press tour for Marvel’s new movie, Simu Liu and Awkwafina were both asked separately about their thoughts on this possibility. Awkwafina spoke to ET Online about a Shang-Chi and Katy romance, and while she doesn’t think the timing was right for it to happen in Shang-Chi, she thinks there is a strong foundation for a romance based on their friendship. Meanwhile, Liu was asked for his thoughts during an interview with The CS Network (via The Direct), and he is open to this development happening in future movies. Their individual responses can be found below:
Awkwafina: I dunno. I think they have a really, really strong friendship, and that friendship is one based on loyalty and a blind trust on Katy’s part, for sure, and also kind of an unspoken understanding. I think Shang-Chi is going through a lot in this movie, maybe taking on a kind of neurotic girlfriend [is] not the best thing that you want to do. But I think if anything were to happen, it would be founded on that friendship.
Simu Liu: Oh, wow, yeah. I mean, you talk about little bits of authentic immigrant culture. That nosy grandma is everyone’s grandma, I’m sure of it. I think Shaun and Katy have a really wonderful relationship where they support each other, where they love each other in their way, and they have this carefree energy where they can really, truly be themselves around each other. Whether that’s romantic or not, that’s not necessarily up for me to decide. I think the door is certainly open, but I think people are just gonna have to tune in. Hopefully we’ll get another chance to revisit the characters, and then we’ll see what happens.
How Shang-Chi and Katy’s relationship develops will be up for a future MCU movie to reveal, but it won’t be too surprising if this is the route Marvel takes. They could certainly keep the characters as friends and allow them to take on bigger roles in the MCU without a romance complicating matters. This would even allow the MCU to introduce Shang-Chi’s frequent romantic interest from the comics Leiko Wu, who could help bring Shang-Chi’s MCU story closer to his MI6 adventures from the comics. But, Liu and Awkwafina have great chemistry on screen, so putting them at the center of a romance would make sense.
No matter what happens between Shang-Chi and Katy, Shang-Chi‘s ending teases that both of them will be big parts of the MCU’s future. The very positive reception to the movie should ensure that a sequel happens and this new duo fulfills their potential in Phase 4 and beyond. Whether or not this includes Shang-Chi and Katy falling in love is up for Marvel Studios to decide. But, since the studio has a history of listening to its fans, the response to their chemistry in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings could help them make a decision.