Marvel Is Fast-Tracking Its First Asian Superhero Movie, ‘Shang-Chi’


Marvel’s first tentpole female superhero movie, Captain Marvel, will arrive in March 2019 with a second trailer set to debut during Monday Night Football. It’s a massive push for the comic book movie film industry, which has — let’s face it — been dominated by white male superheroes, including through most of the MCU’s phases thus far. The exception would be Phase Three’s Black Panther, which arrived in early 2018 to both massive box-office prowess and critical acclaim. Now, Disney hopes to swiftly expand their inclusive success while launching the first U.S. Asian superhero movie, Shang-Chi.

Deadline reports that Marvel Studios is “fast-tracking” the titular character for a tentpole franchise, the first to revolve around an Asian protagonist. Production efforts so far, as with Black Panther, look to be crafted in a seemingly authentic manner with the studio pursuing Asian and Asian American filmmakers:

The studio has set Chinese-American scribe Dave Callaham to write the screenplay, and Deadline hears Marvel is already looking at a number of Asian and Asian-American directors who want to do something as potentially monumental as was accomplished in Marvel’s first viable Best Picture candidate, Black Panther.

Black Panther, of course, was directed by Ryan Coogler and written by Joe Robert Cole. Shang-Chi will also, on a relevant note, arrive after extremely successful Crazy Rich Asians, which is already on the way to romcom sequel land. That film also taught Hollywood a telling lesson, which is that diversity can assist storytelling, rather than simply being representative, and hopefully, the hits will only continue in the future.

In the Marvel comics, Shang-Chi joined The Avengers after training in Kung Fu and shunning the criminal network of his father, sorcerer Fu Manchu, who bred his son for the assassin life. However, Shang-Chi accepted a recruitment offer from Steve Rogers/Captain America, and he also captured the attentions of Tony Stark/Iron Man, who engineered personalized equipment to compliment Shang’s mastery of hand-to-hand combat. There were rumors, once upon a time, that Stan Lee once pursued Brandon Lee (son of Bruce and the late star of The Crow) to play Shang-Chi, yet those days are long gone, and Marvel Studios is now presumably on the hunt for an actor to lead the franchise.

(Via Deadline)