'Shang-Chi': Simu Liu Casting, Title Revealed for the Marvel Phase 4
Marvel fans, meet Shang-Chi. At San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige revealed Kim’s Convenience star Simu Liu as the star of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the first mainstream Asian superhero film set in the world dominant Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The film also has a release date: February 12, 2021, which coincides with Chinese New Year.
On Saturday, inside the fabled room of Hall H before thousands of ravenous fans, Marvel Studios lifted back the curtain on the future of the MCU. Dubbed “Phase 4,” the future of the MCU includes The Eternals, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and WandaVision. But one of the biggest reveals was Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, Marvel’s resident Master of Kung. (Yeah, eat it, Iron Fist.)
In addition to Liu, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will star legendary Hong Kong actor Tony Leung in the role of the Mandarin. That’s right: After a fake-out in 2013’s Iron Man 3, the true Mandarin will appear in Shang-Chi. Furthermore, Feige said that Easter eggs to the Mandarin have been hidden in the Ant-Man films. (Ant-Man, of all heroes, but we’ll take it!)
On stage at Comic-Con, Liu — who screen tested for the role on Sunday and was cast earlier this week on Tuesday — said that his family emigrated from China to Canada with nothing but hopes and dreams. Liu joked he crushed them by not becoming a doctor, but being cast in a Marvel movie is a pretty sweet substitute.
Introduced in 1973 by Jim Starlin and Steve Englehart, Shang-Chi is a master martial artist who has the power to duplicate himself and wield virtually any weapon. He is the son of Fu Manchu, but due to copyright (and unsavory associations with yellowface), the villain will be replaced by the Mandarin. While the Mandarin himself is a questionable caricature, under the care of Marvel Studios and the Asian crew behind Shang-Chi, you can bet there will be all the badassdom and none of the racism.
While unknown to mainstream pop culture, Shang-Chi was was one of the most popular Marvel characters in the ‘70s. He starred in the Marvel series Master of Kung-Fu, which ran for a whopping 122 issues.
In the modern era, Shang-Chi has been briefly a member of the Avengers (having teamed up with Black Widow and Captain America) and taught other superheroes like Spider-Man and Domino kung fu. And now, he will join the Avengers in the new era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and written by David Callaham.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be released in theaters on February 12, 2021.