Marvel is digging deeper into its catalog for its Phase 4 slate. Among all the other fun craziness they have planned, they’re also looking back to bronze age martial arts comics sensation Shang-Chi, who headlined a comic known as Master of Kung Fu, to launch a brand new franchise.
The movie is officially titled Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which is AWESOME (objectivity be damned!).
Unfortunately, like many productions at the moment, Shang-Chi has halted production due to coronavirus fears. However, some first pictures and a video from the set have already arrived. You can see them below…
Now, here’s everything else you need to know:
Shang-Chi Release Date
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was set to open on May 7, 2021. That just happened to be Chinese New Year for that year! Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the movie has now shifted its release to May 7, 2021.
Simu Liu stars as Shang-Chi. With his charm, intelligence and sense of humour – as well as a self-proclaimed ‘ENFP’ personality that just won’t quit – Kim’s Convenience star Liu is the hero Marvel needs right now, and if you follow him on Twitter, you’ll know why.
Tony Leung plays the Mandarin. As in, the actual Mandarin, not the one from Iron Man 3. We wrote more about the character’s history and significance to the Marvel Universe (as well as the “10 rings” of the movie’s title) right here.
Awkwafina has also been cast in an undisclosed role, as has Daily Show correspondent Ronny Chieng, according to Discussing Film.
Destin Daniel Cretton is directing. Destin previously worked with Captain Marvel star Brie Larson on his second film, Short Term 12, and is working with her again (along with Black Panther villain Michael B. Jordan) on his next project, Just Mercy. The intention is apparently for Shang-Chi to be the Asian-American equivalent of Black Panther, which was not only an excellent film in its own right, but had signficant cultural implications as the most prominent black superhero to headline a movie, with a black director at the helm.
Dave Callaham, who has worked on The Expendables franchise, Warner Bros’ inaugural Godzilla feature, and upcoming superhero fare like Wonder Woman 1984 and the untitled sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is writing the screenplay. Marvel routinely pays lip service to the idea that certain films aren’t meant to be superhero movies. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was pitched as a political thriller, and certainly both Guardians of the Galaxy movies lean heavily into their weird space opera/comedy vibe. Would Marvel dare to make a straightforward modern martial arts movie rather than a nine-figure extravaganza?
In the original comics, Shang-Chi was the son of none other than Fu Manchu, that relic of a less enlightened era of storytelling. When the young son learns of his father’s true nature, he sets out into the world to right wrongs. We have more details about the character right here.