The star of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Simu Liu posted a photo wearing an Asgardians of the Galaxy t-shirt and fans are going wild. In the picture, Liu is preparing a meal with the caption "don't sweat the technique," and is strategically turned so the "Asgardians" logo is clearly visible. The title refers to a real comic that debuted in 2018, and after Thor joined the Guardians on the Benatar at the end of Avengers: Endgame, fans have been clinging to the hope of a galaxy quest full of macho competition between Hemsworth and Pratt.

Disney is no stranger to low-key, grassroots marketing. Tom Holland's (Spider-Man) failure to keep industry and story secrets quickly became a marketing gimmick to release information or create buzz. But the strategically placed t-shirt logo could just as easily be a misdirect, intentional or not.

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During a shoot for Avengers: Infinity Wars, Michael Rooker was seen on the set with an Avengers hat on. The stunt was meant to instill doubt in some minds about the rumor that his character died in the newly released Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. On the other hand, this could also just be Liu innocently fanboying over the comic. After Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man) was outed for the third time as having no idea what happens (or who the cast is) in the Marvel movies she is in, Disney could use a little show of solidarity between its stars and the millions of fans.

It is, after all, a little early and possibly pointless to release such monumental and precious details for either Shang-Chi or Guardians right now because fans already couldn't be more excited. It was confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con that the Liu-led Shang Chi would introduce the real Mandarin that fans have been waiting for since Shane Black took creative liberties with the character in 2013's Iron Man 3. Shang-Chi and the Legend Of The Ten Rings will star Awkwafina, Simu Liu, and Tony Chiu-Wai Leung. Coming from director Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), it's expected to hit theaters in February 2021.

Any chance of following Thor directly after the events of Endgame likely disappeared after the firing of James Gunn allowed the director to jump over to DC. Gunn, currently in production for Suicide Squad was eventually re-hired for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but the release date was pushed back to accommodate.

Instead, we will first see Thor in his fourth solo film from other fan-favorite director Taika Waititi. Thor: Love and Thunder will feature Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, the Ruler of New Asgard, and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, The Mighty Thor. Waititi also confirmed recently that the film will feature even more of himself in the form of the lovable rock-monster Korg. Both Love and Thunder and Shang-Chi will happen before Guardians 3, so there is no telling whether Hemsworth will be around for a possible team-up, nor whether Shang-Chi will make his way into space, but we can always hope. Avengers: Endgame is currently available on 4K/UHD, Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital today. The image comes direct from Simu Liu's Twitter.

Samantha Clair at Movieweb
Samantha Clair