As Marvel Studios prepares for Captain Marvel, the studio is already thinking about it’s next blockbuster. Marvel is fast-tracking a Shang-Chi movie, which will be the studio’s first film featuring an Asian protagonist. Deadline has revealed that Chinese-American scribe David Callaham will be writing the film. Marvel wants to deliver “a powerful and authentic story.” The studio plans to recruit to Asian and Asian-American directors to helm the adaptation. Additionally, Marvel hopes to entice filmmakers and performers with the potential of creating a world focused on Asian and Asian American themes. The film will also tie into the Marvel Universe and it’s powerhouse franchises.
According to Deadline, Marvel is looking to build on it’s successes by focusing on diversity and inclusion behind the camera. With that in mind, Callaham is an excellent choice to guide the film’s story. His previous credits include co-writing Wonder Woman 1984 with Geoff Johns and Patty Jenkins, in addition to the initial drafts of Zombieland 2. Callaham is also the creator of The Expendables, and he is slated to script the sequel to Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
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Shang-Chi made his debut in Marvel Special Edition #15 in 1973. As conceived by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin, Shang-Chi is the son of Fu-Manchu. Shang-Chi was raised to be “the master of Kung Fu.” Shang-Chi became an agent for his father, but he eventually realized that he was serving an evil master. Shang-Chi turned against his father, and became one of Marvel’s martial arts heroes of the ’70s. Shang-Chi’s Master of Kung Fu comic was inspired by the success of Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon. It ran for 125 issues before coming to an end in 1983. From there, Shang-Chi sporadically appeared in other Marvel comics. However, Shang-Chi has taken on a larger role in the modern era. After appearing in the revival of Heroes of Hire, Shang-Chi joined the Secret Avengers. Shang-Chi was even added to the primary Avengers team.
Unfortunately, Shang-Chi probably won’t be an Avenger in the MCU. But that doesn’t mean he can’t carve out his own niche. In the hands of the right filmmaker, Shang-Chi could be something special. However, we’ll have to wait to see who Marvel hires as the director.
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