Shang-Chi Movie Developing at Marvel Studios with Asian Lead

Jake Newby

By Jake Newby 15 hours ago

While Marvel Studios has kept mum about any and all upcoming projects so as to keep the secrets of Avengers 4 intact, word is starting to leak about what they have on tap for the post-Avengers 4 MCU.

Having seen what happens when it allows non-white superheroes to headline its blockbusters, Marvel Studios has chose to move forward (and, in fact, fast-track) its very first superhero film featuring an Asian lead: Shang-Chi, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. He's raised in isolation from the rest of the world in Honan, China, where he becomes superhero-level good at martial arts.

The film will be written by Chinese-American scribe Dave Callaham (who also co-write Wonder Woman 1984, in addition to creating and producing Amazon's Jean-Claude Van Johnson), and Marvel is now looking at various Asian and Asian-American filmmakers who might be interested in directing. No actor or director is now attached to the project, though reports say that Marvel is looking at Asians and Asian-Americans. The studio hopes to entice filmmakers and performers with the potential of creating a world focused on Asian and Asian American themes. Learn more about Shang-Chi below. He first appeared in 1973 in Special Marvel Edition #15 as a martial arts expert and remained a strong seller for a decade amid the popularity of martial arts in the United States.

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Though the character of Shang-Chi has persisted through Marvel Comics books over the years, particularly his recruitment to the Avengers team in 2012, the character has not been formally introduced or loudly hinted to in any recent film or TV project. Callaham has had a hand in co-writing Wonder Woman 1984, and he's now at work on a sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Marvel managed to avoid those stereotypes in Iron Man 3 with Ben Kingsley's interpretation of The Mandarin, but the studio encountered some blowback for hiring Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in Doctor Strange a few years later.

Since DC beat them to the punch by hiring the first female director of a major blockbuster superhero movie, Marvel Studios has made it a priority to include more diverse voices behind the camera.

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