The Real Reason Jessica Henwick Turned Down A Role In Shang-Chi

If you've already re-entered the Matrix this week, you know Jessica Henwick's Bugs is on her way to becoming a fan-favorite character within the sci-fi franchise. In "The Matrix Resurrections," blue-haired Bugs is a rebellious new leader who has a special connection to Neo (Keanu Reeves) and his simulation alter ego, Thomas Anderson. Henwick recently revealed that she almost starred in another blockbuster this year, Marvel's "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," but turned down the role for a surprising reason.

In a career-defining moment, Henwick had to choose between the role of Bugs in "The Matrix Resurrections" and the role of Shang-Chi's super cool, fight-club-running sister Xialing (Meng'er Zhang) in this summer's film. She ended up opting out of the Marvel role because she felt it might permanently close the book on another Marvel character she's played before: "Iron Fist" ally Colleen.

Henwick Already Has A Marvel Role

"If I did ['Shang-Chi'], I would effectively be putting Colleen to bed," Henwick told The Hollywood Reporter. "It wasn't the main factor, but it definitely came up in conversation." Though Netflix series "Iron Fist" was not particularly well-received, Henwick's character was yet another fan-favorite who made a strong impression throughout the show's two-season run. Henwick clearly has a lot of affection for the character. "I love Colleen. She changed my life," she says, but she's still not sure Colleen will make any more Marvel appearances.

Henwick points out that another alum of a Marvel Netflix series, Charlie Cox, knew years ahead of time about a planned appearance he made in an MCU title this year. "I think I would have heard by now if there were any plans for Colleen," she concluded. Henwick's return to the MCU may not be in the cards, but her commitment to the character is admirable, and she has plenty of other projects to look forward to. In addition to "The Matrix Resurrections," which will surely continue to stay in the conversation, Henwick will also appear in "Knives Out 2" and the animated series "Blade Runner: Black Lotus."

"The Matrix Resurrections" is currently in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.