Tony Leung’s Handsome Pay for “Shang-Chi” Hollywood Debut

Raking in $140 million despite the raging Delta variant, actor Tony Leung’s (梁朝偉) Hollywood debut, the action-packed Marvel film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings <尚氣與十環傳奇> has done remarkably well at the box office.

How He Compares to Today’s Highest-Paid Actors in Their Marvel Debuts

Garnering positive reactions in his villainous role as Wenwu, the Hong Kong press reported that Tony had been paid a handsome $7.7 million USD for his first-ever Marvel role, which puts him second only to multiple Academy award-winning Australian actress Cate Blanchett, who received $12.5 million USD for her role in 2018’s Thor: Ragnarok, and ahead of Thor’s Anthony Hopkins.

Marvel had offered the impressive figure for Tony’s first-ever Hollywood role, given the man’s legendary status in Chinese cinema – he has nabbed numerous accolades including Cannes Best Actor award over a four-decade-long career.

While Iron Mans Robert Downey Jr., Captain America’s Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth of Thor fame are some of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors today, all three had received a relatively modest pay compared to Tony when they first took on their now iconic superhero roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – $500,000 USD, $300,000 USD and $150,000 USD respectively.

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  1. Well deserved investment… Tony’s character depiction will be a classic in years to come. Well done.

  2. When RDJ and both Chris signed up, MCU was not a thing. So of course their paycheck is lower. MCU is a cult following now so they have the means and should dish out more. That said, the MCU staple actors also get a cut of the movie/theater sales too. So if you combine that, I bet they get much more than a one-time $7.7M.

    Also, I like Tony but I think he’s miscast. Disclaimer I haven’t seen the movie yet. It’ a martial art based show, wish they casted someone who actually has martial art background. Regardless, I will venture out to support this movie! So rare, and I hope it continues to do well and become a classic.

    1. In regards to Tony being a miscast and having seen the movie yesterday, I can confirm that Tony is the best thing about this movie. He has experience in martial arts movies and he stated in an interview that he did not have much time to train for fight scenes which you can clearly tell in the movie. He kinda gets away with it since his fights are mostly visual effects based, but his emotional scenes are his highlight. Siu liu and Meng’er both have really good fight scenes though.

      1. @eleven I never doubted Tony’s acting ability. 99% of MCU fights and battles have big CGI one way or another. But staple MCU actors/actresses look very convincing in their respectively role with training and stuff. My “worry” is true then, the fight scenes aren’t 100% sold. I remember reading about how MCU was super secretive in Tony’s role until last minute and he didn’t have time to train. This is on MCU.

    2. @jjwong I can’t seem to reply to you’re comment but the fight scenes in this movie exceeds any hand-to-hand Marvel has ever produced. The first third of the movie has a HK kung-fu movie vibe, very enjoyable 🙂


        @ellen Finally watched Shang Chi. First, I’m 99% on the execution and direction of this movie. It doesn’t feel like a typical whitewashed or Westernized way of trying to do an Asian movie. It feels like they gave as much TLC to Shang Chi as if it’s any other Marvel super heroes. So my hat off to MCU. EXCEPT for the stupidity of all those fantasy animals. They should’ve stick with true Asian mythical animals like they did with Asian style dragon and foo lions.

        I mostly knocked off that 1% for the fight scenes not “raw” enough. I wish it was more like the 80s-90s HK-esque style where more real hand to hand combat instead of shaky/moving camera, panning in and out, and CGI-esque. It would’ve been superly driven home the raw-ness of HK-style homage if the scaffold ladder fight and Wenrun’s fight after he redawned on the ten rings the way they done Daredevil (Nextflix series) staircase and hallway fight scenes. They were done with one take / camera with continuous rolling and truly hand-to-hand with stuntmen and actors.

        On to Tony, yes, I hands down agree Tony is the torch holder of this movie as far as acting, emoting, and being ruthless and gentle at the same time. I never doubted his acting since day 0 by the way. I really appreciated how he or they left some “natural aging” on his face instead of CGI or smooth it over. He did look agile and a convincing fighter with some still-scene fighting poses. I still wish they have some vet who can act and fight though. I don’t know who on top of my head. Tony did a fine job. Was this his real English voice? He sounded so different but fitting at the same time.

        Fala – I’m on a fence about her. It would’ve been awesome if we get to see how she fended off Wenru’s enemies single handedly without her powers. Not showing that, and not showing how Shang Chi didn’t jump out to help MADE Wenru’s blurt at Shang Chi in the end less powerful. It was a gut wrenching moment where his own father blamed Shang Chi for his mom’s death; On top of that, the kid is still being blamed after he witnessed his own mom’s death.

        Also, wish the movie would’ve show more “epicness” in Wenru’s death. It felt so cheated and unsignficant when it was a huge deal. He finally gave away his power to be at peace, accepted Shang Chi as his son again, and admitted to his mistake for stubbornly and foolishly thought he was saving his wife. It just go brushed away; maybe it’s because Simu is not good with emotion scene?

        On the other hand, Simu did great in his fight scenes. He looked the part of an assassin. He sucked at emotional scenes, but I’ll give him some slack since isn’t this his first major movie role? Or is it ever? I really and highly appreciated the fact this movie doesn’t have unnecessary romantic scene between the male and female leads. I hope Shawn and Katy stay brotherly/sisterly bestest friends forever.

        Though, I wish there was more chemistry, whether more scenes, interaction, or something, between Wenru and Leiko. The movie’s based on their strong love and bond after all. I didn’t feel convinced that Wenru would go to the world’s end for his late-wife, so that kinda make the movie flat and less believable / relatable.

        That said, I’m a fan of the movie! Hope he’ll get another movie instead of just be a collectable in the MCU or next Avenger movie, like Dr. Stranger kind of did.

      2. @JJWong 100% agree on the fights/stunts – too much camera work and reliance on wires/CGI. I’m not looking for gravity defying wuxia-esque fights here and would’ve preferred more true hand-to-hand combat. Many are praising the bus scene, but we only got such a TINY snippet of Jackie’s style with the jacket. Can’t help feeling less hyped on those scenes and ruminating over the missed opportunity to push old school HK action choreography to a wider audience.

        Curious about what you mean by “fantasy” animals, however. They showcased quite a number from Chinese mythology such as kei lun, hundun, nine tailed fox. The only outlier seems to be the final boss?

      3. @Mika Oh yes, the bus scene would’ve be so much more satisfying if it was pure hand-to-hand combat. It felt like a rip-off of spiderman (both new MCU spiderman and Toby’s). By the way, I highly recommend if you haven’t watch Daredevil from Netflix, I highly recommended for the fight scenes I mentioned, like hallway fight from season 1 and staircase from season 2. Those were taking from 1 take, no CGI. Pure stunts and chorographies. I looooove them. Wished MCU take a page off that book. Simu can fight!

        As for fantasy animals, the whole Ta Lo felt strange. It was mostly because someone in the theater screamed Pokemon when the saw Nine Tailed Fox. I know it’s from Chinese myth, but the Western doesn’t and that irks me more. I didn’t realize the “fire birds” are phoenix later on. Maybe it’s the CGI that made them too unrealistic and too … fluffy (?) that didn’t sit well with me. Though I didn’t wish the final boss and its little minions are more real Asian flare/myth, I didn’t hate them because they’re “aliens” right?

        @eleven Not sure why my previous response didn’t tag you, so re-tagging you.

        @kidd I looked up Allan and didn’t realize he was the fighter from Mr. Nice Guy. I remember having a crush on the guy way back in the days, lol. RIP, though. He died so young T_T

      4. @Mika To add, MCU done ‘real’ hand-to-hand with wire work and such before with Black Window (most BEFORE her own stand alone movie) fights. Shang Chi needed that kind of treatment.

        (ugh, wish their edit option still works)

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