Mortal Kombat star Lewis Tan says he was “devastated” when he did not get the titular role in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Mortal Kombat star Lewis Tan says he was “devastated” when he did not get the titular role in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Tan will portray the lead character Cole Young in the upcoming Mortal Kombat film, an entirely new character created for the latest big-screen adaptation of the popular video game. Before he was being considered for roles in Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, Tan starred in series like Netflix’s Into the Badlands and Wu Assassins, though he did have an appearance in Deadpool 2 as Shatterstar.
Tan was a fan favorite to be cast in the role of Shang-Chi, known as the “Master of Kung Fu,” in the upcoming Marvel movie, but the role instead went to Simu Liu. The film is expected to revisit the Mandarin as the primary antagonist, who was introduced in Iron Man 3, albeit as a fake ploy by the film’s actual antagonist Aldrich Killian. Marvel’s Phase 4 film will also introduce a host of new characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Now, in discussion with ET, Tan reveals what it was like to miss out on such a prominent role in a Marvel movie, but quickly make up for it by being cast in Mortal Kombat. In recalling the moment he got the call that he lost out on the role in Shang-Chi, Tan says he was on a plane to Japan when he heard the news. He said, “I just lost a crazy job — a really, really high-caliber level job — and I heard that news on a plane to Japan and I was, like, devastated.” However, Tan quickly made up for it by booking a role in Mortal Kombat. In the interview, Tan recounted the events:
“I did this mediation course, and I came back and then I was on my way to Nashville, Tennessee, to race cars at NASCAR — I was like, ‘Maybe I’m the first Asian person to ever be in this place before!’ — and all of a sudden I get a phone call saying I got the role in [Mortal Kombat], I was supposed to drive a car that day and I ended up not doing it because I was like, ‘Uh oh! I need to be safe now because I’ve got an opportunity here.'”
Tan does not seem to harbor any grudges towards anyone for not being cast in Shang-Chi. Simu Liu’s casting in the Marvel film was announced at Comic-Con in 2019 and at the time, Tan sent out a tweet congratulating him. Tan echoes this sentiment today, calling Liu a friend, and thinks “he’s going to do a fantastic job with the material.“
Though Tan did miss out on the role in Shang-Chi, he did make an appearance in the MCU back in 2017 as Zhou Cheng in an episode of Iron Fist. While Tan did not land the titular role in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which is currently scheduled to be released in early September, he can be seen as Cole Young in Mortal Kombat when it premieres in theaters and on HBO Max April 23rd.
- Mortal Kombat (2021)Release date: Apr 23, 2021
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