The Shang-Chi standalone feature is taking a major step forward. According to Deadline, Destin Daniel Cretton has just signed on to direct the film.
Cretton’s prior credits include Short Term 12, which was adapted from a short film he made in 2009. The movie also featured future Captain Marvel star, Brie Larson. Cretton collaborated with Larson again on The Glass Castle, which is based on Jeannette Walls’ memoir. Additionally, he is currently directing Just Mercy, a biopic about Civil Rights attorney Bryan Stevenson starring Larson and Michael B. Jordan.
RELATED: Marvel Studios is Developing a Shang-Chi Movie
Deadline’s report stresses that Marvel is looking to handle Shang-Chi in a manner similar to Black Panther. Since the latter film’s success was largely credited to its African-American cast and crew and honoring of African traditions and customs, the studio is hoping to repeat that success by spotlighting Asian-Americans and their cultures. Shang-Chi will be the first Marvel movie to feature an Asian lead. Previously, the studio recruited Asian-American screenwriter Dave Callaham to pen the script. Callaham is also co-wrote Wonder Woman 1984 with Patty Jenkins and Geoff Johns and is currently writing the sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse for Sony.
Shang-Chi is the creation of Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin, who made his debut in 1973. Unlike the other Marvel martial arts heroes, Shang-Chi headlined his own comic book series, The Master of Kung Fu. That series ran from 1974 to 1983. Shang-Chi eventually fell into obscurity and he rarely appeared. More recently, Shang-Chi has appeared as a member of Heroes for Hire and various iterations of The Avengers.
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