‘Shang-Chi’ Will Star A ‘98% Asian Cast,’ And Kevin Feige Promises Further Inclusivity For The MCU

The diversity of Marvel’s upcoming Phase Four (and many other upcoming comic book movies) is real. Not only will the MCU return with a standalone Black Widow movie, but we’ll see a Black Panther sequel and Shang-Chi, which will be Marvel Studios’ first Asian-led tentpole franchise. The first film in that franchise, which shall be titled Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, will be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, and Marvel is fully crafting the entirety of the film with some impressive statistics so far in terms of authenticity.

When news of the movie broke in late 2018, word spread that Disney and Marvel planned to almost exclusively pursue an Asian cast and Asian filmmakers, and they’ve delivered on that hope. Speaking this week at a New York Film Academy presentation, Feige doubled down on the film’s inclusion of “a 98% Asian cast.” Via Collider, Feige spoke about how the success of both Black Panther and Captain Marvel showed Marvel Studios’ commitment to make movies that are fully representative of its audience:

Every time we do a movie, we hope it’s going to succeed so that we can make another movie. That’s always the idea. And with those two films in particular, Black Panther and Captain Marvel, we wanted to keep showcasing heroes from the comics that represent the world that goes to see our movies. So our intention was always to continue to do that. What’s exciting is that both those movies were such big hits that it squashed any sort of question otherwise.

The Marvel Studios head continued to express his desire for other global storytellers, to do the same in terms of inclusivity, while pledging that the MCU would continue to do so. In addition to Shang-Chi making strides in that realm, some impressive visuals should also be on the way, given that The Matrix director of photography Bill Pope signed on as the movie’s cinematographer. Not only that, but the movie might also deliver a proper introduction of Ben Kingsley’s the Mandarin after he got the Iron Man 3 shaft. If that happens, the movie would truly have something for everyone, even grumpy MCU fans!

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will arrive in February 2021.

(Via New York Film Academy & Collider)