What a turnout! Toronto’s own Simu Liu, known best for his work on Kim’s Convenience, got a hero’s welcome home tonight. Just this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, it was unveiled that he was cast in Marvel‘s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Tings, in the titular role. The Film has him starring as the first ever Asian male superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
To support his Shang-Chi Co-Star Awkwafina in her acclaimed new Film directed by Lulu Wang, The Farewell, he invited his fans on Social Media to a free 9:30 PM screening tonight of the Movie of the Cineplex Varsity. The theatre is pulling-in the highest ticket sales for The Farewell in North America, in addition to already beating Avengers: Endgame‘s per-theatre average!
I’ve never seen a crowd like this ever at this theatre and I’ve been going here for years! Fans crowded both levels of Manulife Centre, queueing for a chance at a free ticket, courtesy of Liu and Gold Open, a movement which supports Asian-Americans in Film, buying-out theatres entirely. The movement was instrumental in helping propel CRAZY RICH ASIANS to #1 at the Box Office in North America last year.
Showing their support for Liu were the stars of DC Comics’ Titans, Ryan Potter and Conor Leslie!
Some exciting stuff coming out of Comic-Con this weekend in San Diego! A Series of announcements have been made as to the next set of Films to come out in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of them features our v. own Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience) in the titual role of Shang-Chi in Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings!
Feige kicked off with an overview of the feature film “The Eternals,” an exciting new team of Super Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Feige introduced the director, Chloé Zhao, followed by stars from the film, including, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh and Angelina Jolie as Thena.
“The Eternals” will make their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in theatres on November 6, 2020.
THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER
Feige brought news on the Disney+ original series “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” which pairs up two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most popular heroes—Sam Wilson aka The Falcon and Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier—in a series of action-filled adventures as they fight together against evil after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.”
Anthony Mackie (The Falcon) and Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier) came on stage to greet the fans, and it was revealed that Daniel Brühl will return as the villain, Baron Zemo.
“The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” is set to debut on Disney+ in the fall of 2020.
SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS
Feige spoke about the feature film “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and detailed how the legend has been hinted at in the MCU films since the first “Iron Man.”
In an unanticipated surprise for all, Kevin Feige then announced the confirmed casting of Simu Liu in the title role of Shang-Chi and both the actor and the director, Destin Daniel Cretton, came on stage to greet the audience. Kevin also shared with the audience the casting of Awkwafina in a yet-to-be-disclosed role. Then, Kevin revealed to the Hall H audience that the real Mandarin will be played by celebrated Chinese actor Tony Leung.
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” will be in theatres on February 12, 2021.
Next, Feige offered the latest on “WandaVision,” a Disney+ original series where Paul Bettany reprises the role of Vision and Elizabeth Olsen returns to her role of Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch.
Bettany and Olsen were joined on stage by MCU newcomer Teyonah Parris, and Feige announced that Parris will be playing the grown-up version of Monica Rambeau, who was introduced to audiences in “Captain Marvel.”
“WandaVision” premieres on Disney+ in the spring of 2021.
Feige offered news on “Loki,” a Marvel Studios original series streaming on Disney+ in the spring of 2021. Tom Hiddleston—back in his role of the mercurial Loki, the god of mischief and everyone’s favorite villain—received a huge welcome from fans when Feige brought him out on stage.
Then to the delight of the audience, Hiddleston answered the biggest question from “Avengers: Endgame”: “Where did Loki go when he took the Space Stone?”
DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS
Feige introduced the second film in the “Doctor Strange” franchise, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,”and called the director, Scott Derrickson, and star Benedict Cumberbatch to the stage to a rousing welcome.
In a surprise twist, Feige brought out Elizabeth Olsen, who also stars in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and they talked about how “WandaVision”—the Disney+ series that Olsen will star in as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch—connects directly to the feature-film storyline.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” hits theatres on May 7, 2021.
Feige offered new information on “What If…?,” the first animated series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “What If…?” is being created exclusively for Disney+ and features stories that present alternate realities in the Marvel universe.
Feige mentioned that many actors from across the Marvel Cinematic Universe will reprise their roles as voice talent in the series. He then surprised the audience by bringing Jeffrey Wright to the stage and introducing him as the voice of the popular character The Watcher in the new series.
“What If…?” joins the Disney+ lineup in the summer of 2021.
Jeremy Renner came on stage and revealed the previously undisclosed title of the Hawkeye Disney+ original series. He joined Kevin Feige to give exciting news about “Hawkeye,” including details about Kate Bishop, a character well-known in Marvel comics, who will be an integral part of the series.
“Hawkeye” launches on Disney+ in the fall of 2021.
THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER
Feige talked about the next Thor film, “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which will be the fourth feature film in the “Thor” franchise. It was revealed that Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman, will become the Mighty Thor, the goddess of Thunder.
Director Taika Waititi, Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman all came on stage for the presentation, eliciting a wild response from the Hall H audience who are looking forward to the film’s November 5, 2021 debut in theatres.
Feige officially announced the feature film “Black Widow,” which is slated for a May 1, 2020 release in theatres, making it the first film of Phase Four to hit the big screen.
Feige surprised the audience with the first footage from “Black Widow,” which is currently in production. The film is directed by Cate Shortland who was on hand to greet the Hall H audience along with Scarlett Johansson, reprising her role of Natasha Romanoff, as well as newcomers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe David Harbour as Alexei aka The Red Guardian, Florence Pugh as Yelena, O-T Fagbenle as Mason and Rachel Weisz as Melina.
Following the “Black Widow” presentation, Feige had another big surprise up his sleeve for the enthusiastic Hall H crowd. He was joined on stage by actor Mahershala Ali and then announced the new Marvel Studios feature film “Blade” that Ali will star in.
The Red Carpet was rolled-out in Toronto tonight for this Summer’s most-awaited cinematic event, the arrival of Disney’s THE LION KING. An enthusiastic and diverse crowd celebrated the event at Scotiabank Theatre, one night before it’s release including the likes of Jaleel White, Meg Donnelly, Nia Holloway, Jared Dixon, Simu Liu, Scott McGillivray, Kardinal Offishall, Damon Allen and more!
This Remake of the 1994 Animated Classic is directed by Jon Favreau, and while it remains very faithful to the original, you will be wowed by the advancements visually this story is treated with. Its jaw-dropping realism is sure to please fans of the Film’s predecessor. The Film centers on Simba (Donald Glover) who is the chosen successor to the throne to his father Mufasa (James Earl Jones). He must contend however with the betrayal of his uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) which leads him to a life of guilt and exile. Will Simba claim back what rightfully is his?
Disney’s The Lion King also showcases some fantastic performances by the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), Billy Eichner (Timon) and Seth Rogen (Pumbaa) which won’t soon be forgotten. And how can we forget how adorable little Simba is!
See this latest Featurette on the Film here to whet your appetites:
Some Snaps from tonight’s lively Red Carpet Premiere which saw a performance by Powerhouse Fellowship Soul, face-painting and installations to keep Instagram followers in envy like Scar!
Jaleel White (Family Matters)
Meg Donnelly (American Housewife)
Nia Holloway + Jared Dixon (Nala and Simba in Disney’s The Lion King Musical)
Jenalyn Saraza-Pacheco + Luka Milacic Perusina (World of Dance)
Damon Allen (CFL)
Scott McGillivray (Income Property)
Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience)
Marci Ien (The Social)
Kardinal Offishall (Rapper)
See a Highlight Reel:
Check-out our chat with Billy Eichner who plays Timonhere.
Walt Disney Studios Canada release Disney’s THE LION KINGThursday, July 18, 2019.
Honouring outstanding performances this past year among ACTRA members, the 2017 edition of the ACTRA Awards (now in its 15th year) were held at The Carlu tonight in Toronto. The organization contains 22,000+ members and it negotiates contracts on behalf of its cultural workers. Its jurisdiction ranges from independent film production, commercials, radio and television drama, telephony, video games and web-based content. ACTRA ensures members have protected minimum wage standards and working conditions. Several of Canada’s most notable names in entertainment are a part of the organization.
It was a who’s-who of Canadian talent at the affair including man of the hour, Murdoch Mysteries’ Yannick Bisson who received the 2017 ACTRA Award of Excellence. Just last year he received the coveted Fan Choice Award at the Canadian Screen Awards, as a testament to his lasting popularity with over 60 credits over 35 years on his resume. He imparts a bit of wisdom to his peers, reminding them “There are literally hundreds of people on set at any given time to make actors look good. Be gracious, always.”.
The Cast of Kim’s Convenience were awarded the first-ever Series Ensemble Award, based on member votes. Its star Jean Yoon, who was fashionably-late to the Gala, won Outstanding Performance – Female and made an impactful statement in her speech. “I’m really proud to be working on a show about immigrants in a time of nationalist intolerance”, says Yoon. The Cast dedicated their award to all immigrant families, stating “You are here. You are welcome. And you are loved.”.
Aurora Browne, Carolyn Taylor and Jennifer Whalen of the Baroness Von Sketch troupe played hosting duties at the gala and in attendance were this year’s nominees: Grace Lynn Kung (The Death (and Life) of Carl Naardlinger), Tatiana Maslany (Two Lovers and a Bear), Kari Matchett (Maudi), Jean Yoon (Kim’s Convenience), Joey Klein (We’re Still Together), Simu Liu (Blood and Water), Eric Osborne (Degrassi: Next Class) and Gord Rand (Orphan Black). Other notables present included: Kristian Bruun, Tantoo Cardinal, Wendy Crewson, Shawn Doyle, Kevin Hanchard, Art Hindle, Amanda Joy, Eric Peterson, Leah Pinsent, Julian Richings, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Kate Trotter.
Awards presented this evening (winners in bold blue), including the brand new Ensemble Award (members’ choice):
Nominees for Outstanding Performance – Voice
Lilly Bartlam (Dot) Dot., “Bring the Thunder” (Industrial Brothers) Linda Kash (Gina Falcone) Fugget About It, “Vagina’s Got Talent” (9 Story Media Group)
Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring (Various) This is That, Episode 406 (CBC)
Bryn McAuley (Suzi) Camp Lakebottom, “Ice Queen” (9 Story Media Group)
Scott McCord (Rudolph Mintenberg) Atomic Puppet, “AP vs Disastro II” (Mercury Filmworks)
Nominees for Outstanding Performance – Female
Brenda Bazinet (Judge Susan Reeves) Shoot the Messenger, “Careful What You Pray For” (Hungry Eyes Film & Television)
Grace Lynn Kung (Pam Naardlinger) The Death (and Life) of Carl Naardlinger (Cinéman Films)
Tatiana Maslany (Lucy) Two Lovers and a Bear (Max Films Productions)
Kari Matchett (Sandra) Maudie (Small Shack Productions Inc., Painted House Films, Parallel Films) Jean Yoon (Umma) Kim’s Convenience, “Gay Discount” (Thunderbird Films)
Nominees for Outstanding Performance – Male
Simu Liu (Paul Xie) Blood and Water, Episode 1.8 (Breakthrough Entertainment) Joey Klein (Bobby) We’re Still Together (Achromatic Media)
Eric Osborne (Miles Hollingsworth) Degrassi: Next Class, “#YesMeansYes” (DHX Media)
Gord Rand (Det. Duko) Orphan Black, “The Redesign of Natural Objects” (Temple Street Productions)
Paul Soles (Joe) My 90-Year-Old Roommate (LoCo Motion Pictures)
Nominees for Series Ensemble Award
Baroness Von Sketch Show Kim’s Convenience
See some Snaps from the evening:
The Cast and Crew of ORPHAN BLACK, Nominees
Tatiana Maslany, Nominee
Yannick Bisson, 2017 ACTRA Award of Excellence Recipient
Nominations were announced earlier today at Oliver & Bonacini‘s Aperture Room for the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards, now in their fifth year. Announcing nominees were a trio of Canadian talent including actors Maxim Roy (Shadowhunters), Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience) and Amanda Brugel (The Handmaid’s Tale).
With 134 categories, divided by Digital Media, Television and Film, the Awards brought out some familiar and new names. Leading the Television nominees once again is ORPHAN BLACK with a stellar 14 nominations (and wins in the past three consecutive years) including Best Dramatic Series and Actress (Tatiana Maslany).SCHITT’S CREEK, also a multi-CSA winner which just premiered in its third season, follows closely in second with 13 nominations, while KIM’S CONVENIENCE gets 11 nominations in its debut. The latter two, both from CBC, compete for Best Comedy Series.
Leading the Film nominations with nine nods is Xavier Dolan‘s IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD including Best Motion Picture and Direction, Canada’s Best Foreign Picture entry at the upcoming Academy Awards. RACE, also filmed in Montreal like WORLD, gets eight nominations, while BEFORE THE STREETS, OPERATION AVALANCHE and WEIRDOS each get six nods apiece.
Newly-appointed Academy CEO Beth Janson who returned to Canada recently after a stint in the U.S., comments on the lack of a star system in Canada and hence the necessity of recognizing our own Canadian talent which she is certain has no shortage of. “The stories we tell are increasingly reflective of our diverse experiences as Canadians, and that is a trend to cherish”, she tells a room of industry, media and nominees.
Some Snaps from the Breakfast:
Academy President, Martin Katz
Actress, Amanda Brugel
Actor, Simu Liu
Actress, Maxim Roy
Nominees Jennifer Dale and Adrian Holmes
Team Schitt’s Creek congratulate Catherine O’Hara on her nod!
The 2017 Canadian Screen Awards air live on CBCSunday, March 12, 2017 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, hosted by Howie Mandel. Academy Award winner Christopher Plummerthat night is slated to be honoured with aLifetime Achievement Award. The Awards cap-off Canadian Screen Week, which takes place between Monday, March 6 – Sunday, March 12, 2017. Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer that night is slated to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Like previous years, Fans will have a chance to engage with various events set to take place leading up to the Awards. Visit ACADEMY.CA for updates.
Unless you really aren’t paying attention, ads for KIM’S CONVENIENCE have taken over the City these past few weeks. Billboards, bus shelters, you name it – CBC wants you to know about this groundbreaking new comedic series led by an Asian-Canadian cast, based on Playwright Ins Choi‘s play of the same name which won rave reviews. The Series, premiering Tuesday, October 11, 20169 PM EST hones-in on the inter-generational conflict between a family of Korean immigrants. We had the chance to chat with up-and-coming actor Simu Liu who not only stars in KIM’S CONVENIENCE as Jung, but also appears on upcoming NBC Series, TAKEN – both filmed here in Toronto.
1. Tell us what drew you most to your role on KIM’S CONVENIENCE and tell us about the casting process.
Liu: What drew me to this role is Jung’s troubled relationship with his father. I related a lot to the struggle of growing up with one culture at home and another at school, and I found a lot of catharsis doing scenes between Jung and Appa. My own relationship with my parents is not what’s on the show, but there are some definite similarities. I hope that a lot of children from immigrant families watching this can learn to appreciate their parents’ hard work and sacrifice in coming to Canada.
2. Tell us a bit more about your character Jung.
Liu: Jung is a guy who has a bit of a rebellious past. He ran with the wrong crowd in high school, got kicked out of the house, and ended up getting in a bit of trouble with the law. Jung begins the show doing grunt work at a car rental company. He’s confident, charismatic and a natural leader, and he’s made a commitment to make something better of his life. While he still keeps in contact with his mom and sister, Jung’s relationship to his father is still rocky; in fact, they haven’t spoken in almost ten years.
3. We see your extensive stunt work on your résumé. Tell us about some of the most dangerous work you’ve done thus far.
Liu: Oh jeez – well it would have to be on Heroes Reborn. I was on supposed to do a simple fall in the fight sequence but when we got on set the director wanted something more. So the coordinator asked if I could get clotheslined in the neck, do a backflip and then land on my face. I had practiced the stunt on soft floor before but we were on set already and I hadn’t rehearsed it. I was fairly confident in my abilities and we were able to get the shot!
4. We see you are working on two Toronto productions at once, TAKEN and KIM’S CONVENIENCE. How do you juggle both?
Liu: I gave up sleep for a few weeks! On more than one occasion I would be waking up at 5:30am to do a full 14 hr day on one set, have a car waiting to transport me to the other to work an 8 hr day, go home to shower and then be on set again at 6 the next day. I am eternally grateful to the production managers of both shows as well as my eternally dedicated agent Andrea Britton for making it possible to shoot two shows at once. Looking back it truly was the craziest, most memorable summer I have ever had.
5. Okay, you’re at a convenience store. We give you a $10 budget. What do you buy?
A bag of Jalapeño chips, an ice cream sandwich and a can of Diet Coke!