With the landscape-changing Avengers: Endgame now in their rear-view mirror, Marvel Studios and Disney are beginning to push forward with several new additions for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And now, we have an update on one of those upcoming projects: Shang-Chi.
Towards the end of last year, it was announced that a Shang-Chi movie was in development, and just this past March we saw Short Term 12’s Destin Daniel Cretton brought in to direct. In this latest news story, two names have emerged as being candidates to play the role of Shang-Chi’s titular Master of Kung Fu.
Courtesy of That Hashtag Show, Power Rangers’ Ludi Lin and Shazam!’s Ross Butler are said to be two names who are interesting Marvel Studios for the Shang-Chi gig. In addition to this, there’s also reports that all-round badass Donnie Yen is wanted for a role in the film; a major part of that being due to Yen’s huge popularity across Asia.
For those not overly familiar with Shang-Chi, he is a character who debuted back in 1973’s Marvel Special Edition #15 as a creation of Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin. The son of Fu-Manchu, Shang-Chi is brought up to be the true master of kung fu – only for that to all take a surprise turn when he realises that his father was actually up to no good. Of course, the creation of this character was done as a way to capitalise on the martial arts boom ushered in by Bruce Lee in the '60s and ‘70s, and like those kung fu movies of the day, Shang-Chi wasn’t quite so popular by the time the ‘80s rolled around. In fact, his own title – Master of Kung Fu – was cancelled in 1983, leaving him as simply a supporting character who would occasionally turn up in other heroes’ stories. That was until more modern times, though, with Shang-Chi having featured as part of the Secret Avengers and even the main Avengers team more recently.
What makes Shang-Chi so intriguing is that Marvel Studios is looking to put the spotlight on Asian-Americans and their cultures; much like the stunning Black Panther did for African-Americans and African customs. Shang-Chi will feature an Asian lead as the titular hero, with Asian-American screenwriter Dave Callaham having already begun work on the script.
As ever, expect more on Shang-Chi as it continues to develop.