The movie industry is sprawling in nature, but smaller than one might think. No need to work through the entire Six Degrees of Separation to connecting a pair of actors or filmmakers, especially true with the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the franchise continues to expand.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings comes to theaters on Friday. While the martial arts comic book epic focuses on brand new characters, only a a few dots needed connecting for one of MCU’s newest additions to seek old colleague advice.
Director Destin Daniel Cretton’s last film was legal drama Just Mercy, which featured Michael B. Jordan. The star played a major role in 2018’s Black Panther, but he also headlined Creed II later that same year. In Steven Caple Jr.’s Rocky spinoff, Adonis faced off opposite Ivan Drago’s son Viktor, played by Florian Munteanu, who was cast as Razor Fist in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings; it really is a small world, after all.
In a new interview, Munteanu admitted it didn’t take long to seek advice on boarding the world’s most successful franchise from his old onscreen adversary.
“Well, obviously we talked about it. He congratulated me once. I think he first knew from Destin. They also have a good relationship since they did Just Mercy. And then I think he knew even before me that I got the role. He congratulated me, but he never gives me instructions on how to do things. He always tells me the same: ‘Be you and then it will all work out’. And that’s what I did.”
Cretton also revealed that he was convinced to take the reins on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings by Black Panther‘s Ryan Coogler, who of course directed the first Creed with Jordan; the boxing series ended up impacting the MCU’s latest effort.