Jessica Henwick and Simu Liu could’ve played brother and sister in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”. Instead, the role of of Xu Xialing eventually went to Meng’er Zhang.
The 29-year-old actress was given an ultimatum where she had to either choose to audition for either Marvel Studios or Warner Bros. – she went with the latter. “It was a red/ blue pill moment for me,” she was quoted as saying.
In speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Jessica shared that she wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her “Iron Fist” character Colleen Wing. “If I did [“Shang-Chi”], I would actually put Colleen to bed, ”she told the publication. “It wasn’t the main factor, but it certainly came into the conversation. I love Colleen. She changed my life. Of course, if I had the opportunity to see her again, I would, but I don’t know how it probably is.”
Of course, THR could be wrong in their speculation since director Destin Daniel Cretton said he wanted a native mandarin speaker for the sister role. It could also be another role they ended up cutting. But now that the forbidden door is open, Jessica could always return as Colleen in “Shang-Chi 2”. After seeing Charlie Cox reprising his role as Matt Murdock/Daredevil in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin in “Hawkeye”, the possibilities are endless.
Besides the ultimatum, Jessica also told Simu what other factors that went into her decision-making. The fact that the Marvel project was shrouded in secrecy left too big of a question mark for the British Chinese actress.
You can catch Jessica as the captain of a “ragtag” crew – Bugs- in “The Matrix Resurrections”, which is available in movie theaters and on HBO Max.