Marvel working on Asian superhero film, Shang-Chi


Credit: Marvel

Marvel Studios is working on bringing Shang-Chi to the big screen, making it the studio’s first superhero film with an Asian lead. Dave Callaham is attached as the screenwriter, and the studio is searching for a director of Asian descent. The company is hoping to make another blockbuster like Black Panther where the lead is a person of color. With Black Panther, it had a black director and cast and touched on African and African-American culture. Marvel Studios is planning to do the same thing with Shang-Chi with Asian and Asian-American filmmakers tackling the Asian and Asian-American culture, according to Deadline.

Shang-Chi is known as the Master of Kung Fu, and he’ll be joining Tony Stark as a superhero who doesn’t have superpowers. (Unless the studio decides to give him his other power of multiplying himself.) The character first appeared in December 1973 in Special Marvel Edition #15 and was created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin, who wrote the Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War comic book series. If Black Panther is any indication, audiences can be sure that Marvel Studios will be working on making a film that will entertain millions while also making a character that Asians and Asian-Americans can be proud of.

Since the character is Asian and has a background in martial arts, Callaham looks to be a good choice with him being Chinese-American and having a martial arts background. The writer also created the series, Jean-Claude Van Johnson, which featured Jean-Claude Van Johnson as a secret agent. In addition, he has a background in comic book films. He co-wrote the script for Wonder Woman 1984 with Geoff Johns and Patty Jenkins and is writing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2. (You can check out our interview with Callaham here.)

In the comics, Shang-Chi was born and raised in China and learned martial arts from his father and teachers. It turns out that his father isn’t all he’s cracked up to be, and in the end, Shang-Chi will have to stop his father from taking over the world.

Marvel Studios has featured Asian actors before; for example, Tadanobu Asano played Hogun in the Thor series and Claudia Kim played Helen Cho in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Since the fate of Hogun is sealed in Thor: Ragnarok, perhaps fans may get to see Kim reprise her role as Helen Cho in Shang-Chi.

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