SHANG-CHI: Morris Namesake Revealed!
In an article posted to the official Marvel website on Thursday, September 9th, 2021, the Marvel Entertainment website staff writer, Rachel Paige, spoke with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton, and he revealed that Morris took his name from a real-life source: his fifteen-year-old dachshund!
The most devoted Marvel Blog True Believers have been following the ongoing Morris narrative since we first spotted the tooooo adorable, faceless sidekick when he was included as an accessory with the Marvel Legends Marvel Studios’ Katy action figure, inspired by Awkwafina’s character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, and for this reason, we were delighted to learn the secret origin of Morris!
Morris the Dog
“We were still in the early days and somehow a drawing of the Chinese deity called a Hundun, a God of Chaos, ended up on the wall,” Producer Jonathan Schwarz told Marvel.com. “One day [director] Destin [Daniel Cretton] pointed and said, ‘That thing is cool, it should be in the movie.’ And that was the birth of Morris.”
Cretton added that when the Marvel team was coming up with a personality for Morris, the enigmatic Dijiang who spent a lot of time in Wenwu’s basement with Trevor Slatterly (Sir Ben Kingsley), he turned to his beloved dog of 15 years for inspiration.
“The spirit of Morris is definitely inspired by my Morris, who I love very much,” Cretton told Marvel.com, explaining that the Morris in the movie sounds a lot like Morris the dog.
However, their appearance is slightly different. Morris the dachshund is “black and brown, kind of a classic dachshund,” said Cretton.
In addition to explaining what the origins of Morris were, the article also discussed the fact that working with Morris was a highlight for Kingsley on set, which might be my new favorite thing about Kingsley, Marvel Blog True Believers!
Apparently, the legendary actor took to the green blob that represented Morris for VFX purposes, eventually developing a rapport with the handler who was responsible for puppeteering the Morris-stand-in on set.
“And very soon, it was like having a real little animal with me and a pet rather than a green blob on the end of a pole,” Kingsley said. “Morris was very sensitive, and it was a pleasure to build that rapport.”
Plus, Awkwafina interacted with the green blob as well, and she told Marvel that this interaction made seeing the movie even more surprising!
“I have to say I really genuinely did not know what Morris would look like until I saw the movie,” Awkwafina told Marvel. “And when I did, I was like, wow, because you wouldn’t expect it.”
But Sir Ben isn’t the only one to get up close and personal with Morris. For the first time in her career, Awkwafina also found herself interacting with a green-screen creature, though it took some getting used to at first, and according to the actress she wasn’t the only one who had to adjust to working with a prop.
“I remember there’s one scene where Liu was petting him and it’s the first time we see him,” notes Awkwafina. “And I just remember Chris [Townsend], our VFX supervisor, had to remind us that his wings are there – that’s where his feathers are. If you’re going to pet him, mind his wings. That’s crazy but it was really cool like all the things that you can do and that you see how it’s made.”
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Have you had a chance to see Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings yet, Marvel Blog True Believers? What did you think of the latest (and most highly reviewed) MCU movie? Let us know in the comment section!