We’ve waited so long for it! We proudly present the Trailer for Marvel‘s SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS!
Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. The film also stars Tony Leung as Wenwu, Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan, as well as Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu and Ronny Chieng.
“Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and produced by Kevin Feige and Jonathan Schwartz, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and Charles Newirth serving as executive producers. David Callaham & Destin Daniel Cretton & Andrew Lanham wrote the screenplay for the film.
Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings is in theatres on September 3, 2021.
RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON is the latest Feature Film from Walt Disney Animation Studios and this astonishing-looking Fantasy Adventure is set in the world of Kumandra, a place where dragons and humans once co-existed together. After monsters known as the Druun surfaced, dragons sacrificed their lives almost becoming extinct. A young warrior named Raya (Kelly Marie Tran) is tasked with locating the last dragon, Sisu (Awkwafina) to stop the Druun from destroying humanity. However, zany Sisu alone might not be enough and Raya and her enemies, including Namaari (Gemma Chan), must learn to overcome their differences and trust one another to accomplish this.
With production taking place over the Pandemic, its Cast and Crew of 450 people – many who worked from home – RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON is a mystical journey that explores division and the importance of trust and community. Featuring a predominantly Asian Principal Voice Cast, the Film arrives at a time where some of its sentiments echo what the Asian community is be experiencing as we heal from a divide in the aftermath of the Pandemic.
See the Trailer:
We were thrilled to join the Global Press Conference for RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON and joining us were:
Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada – Directors
Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim – Writers
Osnat Shurer – Producer
Kelly Marie Tran – Raya
Awkwafina – Sisu
Gemma Chan – Namaari
Sandra Oh – Virana, Namaari‘s mother
Daniel Dae Kim – Chief Benja, Raya‘s father
Benedict Wong – Tong, a giant
Izaac Wang – Boun, a ten-year-old Entrepreneur
Thalia Tran – Little Noi, a toddler Ongi (a bit like a money, a bit like a catfish)
Moderating was Television Personality Jeannie Mai.
The symbology of dragons are very present in the Film and we learn that the Eastern Dragon is very different from common perception.
Lim: “It was so exciting to celebrate the Eastern Dragon and we realized this was something most of the world was not familiar with. In East Asia they are referred to as Nāgas , they’re water deities who bring auspiciousness, so it’s very different from the Western Dragon who’s winged and fire-breathing, something you have to destroy and take-down. We love this symbology in our Movie because Raya thinks she’s bringing forth this Water Dragon thinking she can just snap her fingers and solve all the problems in the world. Instead, what she finds is this crazy, zany creature voiced by Awkwafina, and she’s vulnerable and needs to be protected. She’s just quirky and always sees the good in people and Raya as a warrior, thinks this is nuts. It’s so rare we get a Hollywood movie with a special female friendship at the heart of it. The humour here comes from seeing the best in people, people who Raya thought were her enemies, people who’ve let you down. It was the Dragon who could see that potential and it inspires everyone to come together and get past it.”.
The younger Cast members Isaac Wang and ThaliaTrantalk about the Film’s Southeast Asian family values.
Wang: “It’s pretty crazy to think 450 people working on this Movie and they just stuffed a bunch of cultures into this Movie. It’s amazing to see all the things that are included from the food to the weapons that you see. I’ve been centered around only a couple cultures my whole life, so to see all these cultures is really amazing to me.”.
Tran (Thalia): “Playing Noi is like nothing I’ve ever done before. She doesn’t use English words, she speaks in her own language but that connection she has with her gang of Ongis (like catfish-monkeys), Tong, Raya and the whole gang, that sense of camaraderie and the sense of family, that is something I related to. Growing up in a Vietnamese family, I learned that family always comes first, from traditions to every day life, especially now in quarantine where I’m with my family all the time. It’s something that definitely clicked with me as I know what it feels like. For her to be so young and have her family be turned to stone by the Druun, and her to have to raise herself with the Ongis, that sense of strength I feel is something very common in Southeast Asian families, especially because it’s something very valued in terms of independence. There’s a lot about Noi even though she can’t speak words, people still can connect with.”.
RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON explores a central theme of female friendship. Gemma Chan and Kelly Marie Tran comment on their characters’ rivalry and love-hate relationship.
Chan: “I love that they have this love-hate dynamic, but at the core they have so much in common. I love that Namaari has this aggressive exterior but underneath it all, she’s got this huge heart. She has this love for dragons that’s really been there since childhood and I really love that first scene where she locks eyes with Sisu. It’s as if she’s become a child again. I love that and that was my way into her really. We’ve all got people in our lives we’ve got a love-hate relationship with and I think it’s such a fine line. I love that Namaari and Raya have had that connection since childhood.”.
“It shows as children when we’re young we don’t inherently hate each other. It’s learned whether it comes through as something that’s parental, a family influence or a particular tribe. Those things are learned, but they can be unlearned. Kids get on and that’s something to take away from the Movie.”.
Tran (Kelly Marie): “Setting-up these characters as kids and seeing how authentically they can connect at a young age, and then cutting-forward and seeing the way they’ve been divided, it’s really incredible. We have this idea that the two characters switch places at one point. When I really think about it in my life when things like that have happened to me, I think about just how difficult it is to get out of your own biases from someone you see as an enemy. Incredibly by the end of the story, Raya and Namaari are willing to step outside of themselves and risk everything for this idea of community and what their relationship could have been all this time. It’s really inspiring and something I want to do in my own life. Their relationship in this Movie is one of my favourites because of how complicated it is.”.
Awkwafina comments on her comedic influences for the scene-stealing role of Sisu.
Awkwafina: “Genie was one of my favourite characters from my childhood so maybe there was a subconscious thing. The real beauty here is when I was approached to play Sisu and hear what her vibe was, I think I was given a chance to add my own voice to it and simultaneously build her up with the Directors who were always willing to explore and play. I think she was really born out of that process. The really cool thing about Sisu is that she was part my voice.”.
The Film also explores the father-daughter relationship between Chief Benja and Raya. The former is the Chief of Kumandra‘s heartland and Raya in line to be a ruler next.
Tran(Kelly Marie): “Benja and Raya are so reminiscent of the relationship between me and my own father – that reverence for your elders, how important family is and the way he bestows upon Raya all these incredible ideas at such a young age. Gosh, I cried in so many scenes with Benja.”.
Kim: “I really give a lot of credit to Don, Carlos and the Producing Team because the pitfall of the character is that he can be a Centurion Oratour, the kind of King who’s going to dictate the way everything is. But they kept pushing me to say ‘No, you have a really intimate, loving relationship with your daughter. Take it down, make it more intimate’, and it triggered something different in me and led me to finding that relationship. The second thing is Kelly, I was following you in the news and knew all the things you were about and these were characteristics I could relate to and connect to. It wasn’t just about our roles as characters, but knowing who you were as a person and that I could connect to that. When I watched the Film, I felt that we had that connection even though we weren’t in that booth together. It’s a real testament to your performance.”.
Aside from stunning lifelike animation, the Martial Arts in RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON is phenomenal. The Film’s two DirectorsDon Hall and Carlos López Estrada speak to this.
Hall: “We were fortunate the Martial Arts Coordinator also happened to be one of the Writers. We leaned on Qui quite a bit. There was one day he brought into the studio – how he got it past Security I don’t know – he brought a giant bag of weapons in to show us he was a legit Martial Arts Choreographer, which we didn’t doubt. But I think after seeing that bag of weapons, we probably treated him a little better after that too!
Estrada: “Just so that this doesn’t become a headline, I will back you up and say that they were stage weapons. The entire Crew, it was really special for them to have Qui down the hall. The Story Artists, the Animators, the vista of people, could just knock on his door and just say ‘Hey, check this move out, does this make sense?’ and Qui would give them links and bring them movies, do some in-office demonstrations. To have that direct access to someone who’s so knowledgeable in that region is invaluable and you really see that in the fights, they feel so different and so unique.”.
Nguyen: “A lot of credit goes to Maggie Macdonald who choreographed a lot of our reference fights and it was important for me to bring on a female Fight Choreographer. She brought on a female team of fighters to do the references because of our two leads are Raya and Namaari. The way a female body moves is just different and we had something that was really utilizing speed, strength and agility. You often see in movies like this Kung-Fu or Karate. It’s nice to see Southeast Asian Martial Arts shown in this way.”.
A point this Film is making is one about representation. The Cast is asked about the importance of this.
Oh: “It’s difficult because this was made in COVID times and the way Animation is made, you don’t get to meet everyone all the Directors do. I think it’s really seeing how Animation has moved on for someone like myself growing-up in the ’70s and ’80s and we didn’t really see anything. I feel like that has been the same way representation wise for a really long time. I actually am glad I’m still alive to be a part of this type of screen (she refers to the grid of predominantly Asian faces on the Zoom call grid) where you get to see the type of people who have made it. In that way it’s very exciting. It’s exciting to hear what Isaac and Thalia have to say and give them an opportunity to have their voices heard. Especially for the much younger generation for them to have a space to be heard. It’s an exhilarating change for someone like me to be a part of and witness.
Tran (Thalia): “We owe it all to people like you”.
We are faced with news of some horrific treatment the Asian community has faced subsequent to the Pandemic. The Cast talks about RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON‘s place in the world today.
Oh: “I was moved by the theme and ending of the story, which ultimately is about trust and how I myself am struggling with that. Art is here to pose questions and to potentially suggest possibility. And I think even if we start with that question in one’s self, ‘Who do I trust? How can I trust? Can I trust that other side? Can I trust that other side when it seems it’s very proof-positive that this is what has been done to me?’. As the theme of the story goes, we cannot continue without this open-heartedness. And the truth I think Raya learns is that you just have to keep having your heart broken again and again just to keep it open. Hate is not finished by hate, it is only won over by love. We have to each individually and as a large community – societally – move towards this because all of us are on the same boat. 2020 in all its destructiveness, if one can see opportunity to somehow it also has broken all our hearts open. So what can we do with all of that?”.
Hall: There were certainly moments during the making of the Film where we were very aware of how this Film which was meant to be timeless was unbelievably timely. I think it emboldened us to continue forward as I felt we had something to say. If this Film can just teach one person to be brave enough to trust someone, then we’ve done what we set-out to do.
Benedict Wong, who came dressed like his fumbling giant character, Tong, tells us about his experience watching the Film with his son.
Wong: “It was the first time we actually sat down and watched the Film entirely all the way through. Afterwards, he turned, gave me a hug and said ‘I trust you, Daddy’. We need this to unite. We are living through remnants of hate that have permeated through the world and again it’s very timely with our beautiful Film that shows that love can lead the way.”.
RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON arrives on Disney+ with Premier Access and in theatres Friday, March 5, 2021.
A new Trailer for RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON has surfaced. The Animated Feature arrives next month, with a fantastic Voice Cast including Gemma Chan, Benedict Wong, Sandra Oh, Awkwafina and Kelly Marie Tran.
“Raya and the Last Dragon” takes us on an exciting, epic journey to the fantasy world of Kumandra, where humans and dragons lived together long ago in harmony. But when an evil force threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, that same evil has returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and its divided people. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than a dragon to save the world—it’s going to take trust and teamwork as well.
See the new Trailer:
Raya and the Last Dragon arrives on Disney+ with Premiere Access on March 5, 2021.
Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina star in Disney’supcoming Feature RAYA AND THE DRAGON! The first Trailer just got released!
Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when an evil force threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, that same evil has returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and its divided people. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than a dragon to save the world—it’s going to take trust and teamwork as well. From Directors Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, Co-directors Paul Briggs and John Ripa, Producers Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho, and featuring the voices of Kelly Marie Tran as Raya and Awkwafina as the last dragon Sisu.
RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON is in theatres Friday, March 12, 2021.
It’s just been announced that Kelly Marie Tran has been cast as Raya in upcoming Animated Feature, RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON! Above is a brand-new still from the Film.
Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world—it’s going to take trust as well. From directors Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, co-directors Paul Briggs and John Ripa, producers Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho, and featuring the voices of Kelly Marie Tran as Raya and Awkwafina as Sisu.
Walt Disney Studios Canada release RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGONFriday, March 11, 2021.
The Golden Globe Awards took place tonight at the Beverly Hilton, honouring together the best in Television and Cinema in one star-studded affair. The Awards for the first-time ever, served guests an all-vegan menu with Climate Change being front and center in discussion.Funnyman Ricky Gervais hosted a fifth and final time and once again nobody was spared of his biting humour, whether it be Leonardo DiCaprio being teased for his young girlfriends, The Irishman being too long or everyone as a whole being sent-off for the evening to go enjoy their booze and drugs, which failed to be caught by NBC Censors.
ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD took home three scores including Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Best Motion Picture Screenplay (Quentin Tarantino) and Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Brad Pitt).
Sam Mendes’ 1917 would win Best Director in a Motion Picture and also Best Motion Picture – Drama. The Film gets a wide release next week.
JOKER would be awarded Best Original Score in a Motion Picture, in addition to heavy favourite Joaquin Phoenix winning for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama. Renée Zellweger as predicted, would take Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama after a 17-year absence from the ceremony.
In a couple surprises, ROCKETMAN also took home two Golden Globes, for Best Song with (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again and Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (Taron Egerton). For Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Awkwafina would pull-off the upset winning for her performance in universally-acclaimed The Farewell.
HBO‘s SUCCESSION and Amazon‘s FLEABAG were both the big winners in the Television categories. The former took Best TV Series Drama and Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series Drama (Brian Cox). The latter took Best TV Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series – Musical or Comedy (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). In addition to starring in Flebag, Waller-Bridge also wrote the Series, based on her one-woman Play.
Saturday Night Live‘s Kate McKinnon presented Ellen DeGeneres the Carol Burnett Award and reflected on how DeGeneres paved the way for her as a gay woman in Entertainment. “She risked her entire life to tell the truth. If I hadn’t seen her, I wouldn’t be on TV.”. DeGeneres when accepting her Award told the audience, “The real power in Television is not that people watch my Show, but that people watch my show and are inspired to put some of that into their own lives.”.
Charlize Theron presented the Cecil B. DeMille Award to screen veteran Tom Hanks to a standing ovation, recounting how he gave her one of her first big breaks auditioning for 1996’s That Thing You Do and giving her a second chance with a five minute break after being what she called “a sweaty mess”. A tearful Hanks gave thanks to his wife Rita Wilson and five children, stating “They are a loving group of people who put-up me with me being away months and months at a time. I can’t tell you what your love means to me.”. He credits his peers, stating “You’re a dope if you don’t steal from the ones you work with – I’ve worked with many who are known by one name like Meryl, Denzel and Antonio“. He shares a bit of advice based on his years of experience, saying “Showing-up on-time is one of the greatest liberating acts you can give others in a Movie, because when the time comes you have to hit all the marks and go there.”.
There were several winning looks on the Red Carpet including a glamorous red Vera Wang dress donned by Scarlett Johannson. Nicole Kidman also came in red, appearing every bit a Movie Star in Versace. Rising Star Ana de Armas sparkled like a sapphire in Ralph & Russo at her first-ever Globes appearance. Jennifer Lopez drew a lot of divided opinions on Social Media with her gold bow dress by Valentino.
Toronto got another special surprise last night thanks to the amazingness that is THE FAREWELL! DC Comics’ TITANS star Ryan Potter together with the organization GOLD OPEN, bought-out last night’s 8:40 PM screening of the Film at The Varsity in Toronto, bringing his Co-Stars out to enjoy the Film. Fans in attendance received the best surprise ever!
In attendance were:
We are too lucky to be blessed by this Film! The Cast were all so nice to us! Kelly was so sweet, she loved my H&M flamingo shirt, nudging Leslie, who supported the Film a second time, to check it out!
The Cast whom have been working on season two of Titans in Toronto, dealt with a bit of sadness losing a crew member last week, which halted production. Production has begun once again it’s great to see them all bonding together right now. The tragedy altered plans for them to make an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con last week, a key opportunity for them to connect with their Fandom. And I don’t think they realized how hungry Toronto fans have been to meet them!
See our Snaps!
If you haven’t seen outstanding The Farewell starring Awkwafina yet, it expands to more cities this weekend across Canada.
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!
One of the biggest hits to come out of Sundance earlier this year was Lulu Wang’s sophomore Feature, THE FAREWELL. The semi-biographical story centers on Billi (Awkwafina), a Chinese-American woman who learns that her grandmother (Zhao Shuzhen) is dying and ventures to China with her family to see her one last time. One catch, her family refuses to let her grandmother know that she’s dying. The Film delicately examines Billi navigating her cultural duality and beloved grandmother’s mortality.
The buzz is feverish for the Film, which has seen in its limited opening, surpassing the per-screen average take by Avengers: Endgame. This, and also its rare feat of 100% on the Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes. The Rush Line tonight was filled with people hoping just for a chance to see the Film after it sold-out rapidly. The line coiled three times around the Box Office at the venue, with only a handful of people lucky enough to get in. Appearing in Toronto tonight for a special screening at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Wang who happens to call acclaimed Filmmaker Barry Jenkins her partner, came to introduce the Film to a Canadian audience for the first time ever with a Q&A moderated by TIFF’s Cameron Bailey.
We had the pleasure of being among the first to see this masterpiece, which features an outstanding and authentic performance by Awkwafina, whose Billi isstruggling to make sense of her two conflicting worlds, all while trying to find her own identity at age 30. It is impossible not to be affected by the love Billi shows for her grandmother, played phenomenally by Zhao, but also the tough love she receives from her mother (Diana Lin). The story connects universally to anyone who’s ever straddled two identities or tried to make sense of their confusion.
See the Trailer:
Wang talks about Billi’s character and how she adapted it to the Film’s star, Awkwafina. Wang: “I never intended her to be me. It was never like I was recreating myself on-screen. I wanted Billi to be a conduit for the audience. And also just for any Asian-American, immigrant American who feels caught in two worlds. She’s this vessel that takes us through this journey of navigating her American culture and her family’s culture.”.
Awkwafina truly transforms into Billi, speaking much less Chinese than Wang does. Wang tells us how she navigates this.
Wang: “When I met Awkwafina, she spoke a lot less Chinese than I did, so I was little nervous about that. She felt so quintessentially American, she’s your typical New Yorker. I changed the role of Billi in the Script to fit Awkwafina. I had Billi intentionally ask ‘What’s going on, dad? What did they say?’. I had her give some kind of hints that while she might understand some things, she doesn’t understand all things.”.
Wang who cites Mike Leigh as her biggest filmmaking inspiration, talks about the tone of the Film, which while dramatic, also is funny and heartfelt at once.
Wang: “It’s a lot harder to teach an actor Comedy than it is to pull a dramatic performance out of a comedic actor. I think that’s why so many comedic actors make successful turns because Comedians tend to be fairly dark people who use humour as a survival mechanism.”.
“Nora (Awkwafina) told me she grew-up cracking jokes because her mother died at age four and she was raised by her Chinese grandma, so there was a lot of awkwardness in her family. So she realized she had this superpower to crack a joke to dissipate the tension.”.
“I could feel she was tense. And she said, ‘I’m just very uncomfortable’. I said ‘Great, because Billi‘s uncomfortable, so use that. I know it’s a terrible thing for a Director to say, ‘Use it!’. I told her, ‘I said I know your instinct is to dissipate the tension by cracking a joke, but on this set you can’t because I haven’t written any jokes for Billi. So you have to channel all that tension through Billi and let us feel it on-screen.’. Once she settled into that it was so powerful and so seamless.”.
See some Snaps:
See some of Wang‘s Q&A with Bailey:
If you missed the sold-out TIFF Bell Lightbox screening of THE FAREWELL, you get a second chance to see Wang at a special Q&A following the 7:00 PM screening of the Film in Toronto at The Varsity, Friday, July 19, 2019. The Film expands to other cities Friday, July 26, 2019.
It’s Awkwafina like you’ve never seen her. THE FAREWELL won huge raves at Sundance and we can’t wait to see it! The Film now has a Canadian release date!
In this funny, uplifting tale based on an actual lie, Chinese-born, U.S.-raised Billi (Awkwafina) reluctantly returns to Changchun to find that, although the whole family knows their beloved matriarch, Nai-Nai, has been given mere weeks to live, everyone has decided not to tell Nai Nai herself. To assure her happiness, they gather under the joyful guise of an expedited wedding, uniting family members scattered among new homes abroad. As Billi navigates a minefield of family expectations and proprieties, she finds there’s a lot to celebrate: a chance to rediscover the country she left as a child, her grandmother’s wondrous spirit, and the ties that keep on binding even when so much goes unspoken. With The Farewell, writer/director Lulu Wang has created a heartfelt celebration of both the way we perform family and the way we live it, masterfully interweaving a gently humorous depiction of the good lie in action with a richly moving story of how family can unite and strengthen us, often in spite of ourselves.
See the Trailer:
VVS Films release THE FAREWELLFriday, July 19, 2019.