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Marvel’s First Asian Superhero Movie: Shang-Chi Plot, Release Date & More

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Finally, we are getting to see Marvel studios diversify its superheroes more. We got the Black Panther, a Captain Marvel and even Captain America will now be played by Anthony Mackie. Now, we are going to see Marvel’s first Asian superhero: Shang-chi. It’s said that this movie will be one of the upcoming marvel movies of Phase 4. Here are all the details we know so far.

Who is Shang-Chi

Shang-Chi is known as the ‘master of the Kung Fu’. He was first introduced in the Marvel comics in ‘Master of Kung Fu’ that was first published in 1974. The comic book writer was Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin was the artist.

His character resides in China and is the son of Fu Manchu. His character is that of an ordinary man possessing no superhuman abilities. The only ‘powers’ he does have is the immense strength by which he can shatter matter and deflect bullets. Though, he doesn’t have any superhuman abilities such as Iron Man, Iron Fist or Hulk, he has one strong suit. He’s apparently the best fighter in the Marvel universe. He also mastered the art of chi, meditation and concentration and is an adept fighter using a lot of different weaponry such as shuriken, swords and kali sticks. Though, after being exposed to radiation, he got the ability to make clones of himself in later comics.

What’s interesting about Shang-Chi is that his main villain is going to be his father Fu Manchu. Manchu married a white woman and had Shang-Chi. The son was trained in martial arts rigorously and taught to believe that his father was a good humanitarian. However, Shang-Chi later finds out this is not the case. That starts off his journey as Shang-Chi.

Real Mandarin Could be the new Fu Manchu

Though, there might be some legal issues regarding the name of Fu Manchu. This is because the Marvel character was taken from a book written by British author Sax Rohmer in 2013. Marvel got the rights to use his name but the rights have expired now. Hence, Fu Manchu has been changed to Zheng Zu. There’s an interesting theory that says the real Mandarin could be Zheng Zu. Mandarin was the first villain introduced in Iron Man’s trilogy, though we saw a fake version of him and not a real one. Marvel has still given some room in their movie universe for the final reveal of the actual Mandarin. Perhaps, they would use the Shang-Chi movie for the big connection.

Has Shang-Chi Ever Worked With the Avengers?

Later, in a lot of comics, Shang-Chi has partnered up with a lot of other Avengers. He has teamed up with Spiderman and taught him martial arts at a time when Spidey lost his powers. He’s helped Captain America track down their mutual enemies. Plus, he’s joined the Avengers as well.

Controversies Movie Would Have to Battle

This movie hopes to tackle some controversy surrounding the Kung Fu seen in Hollywood. There has been a trend where a white man goes to learn Kung Fu and ends up being much better than the original Asian mentor. We saw this in Iron Fist as well as Doctor Strange. Iron Fist got a lot of backlash that it was cancelled after 2 seasons. With Shang-Chi, Marvel hopes to give authenticity to the martial arts that originated in Asia.

Furthermore, some people are worried that people will end up seeing as Kung Fu as being too powerful. This leads to real people exploiting this myth and misleading people into believing that martial arts give you superhuman strength when that is not the case.

Cast and Crew

Marvel studios wanted it to be authentic like Black Panther was for Marvel and Crazy Rich Asians for the romcom fans. Thus, the screenplay will be written by Chinese-American Dave Callaham. The director has been confirmed as well, it’s Asian-American director Destin Daniel Creston.

Contenders for Main Lead

The cast has not been decided as of now. But Marvel studios want them to be of an Asian descent as well. Rumors are that the studios are really interested in casting Ludi Lin as Shang-chi himself. Ludi Lin is popular for his role in Power Rangers and in a recent episode of Black Mirror season 5 where he plays Lance. Though, there are other strong as well contenders such as 13 Reasons Why’s Ross Butler and Ip Man’s Donnie Yen. All three of them certainly look the part of a Kung Fu master, but Donnie Yen has actually played that role in his Ip Man trilogy. Though, Butler and Lin have appeared in DC superhero movies Shazam and Aqua Man respectively. Yen is more familiar with Disney movies so he might have a better chance.

We’ll have to wait and see who Marvel chooses for their Shang-Chi. There are plenty of other marvel movies coming out so it might take them some time. Yen

Release date of Shang-Chi

Speculations imply it may be sometime around late 2021.

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