With Avengers: Endgame set to premiere this month, the end of an era is sure to follow suit. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been setting up the long-awaited movie for over a decade. It's no wonder fans everywhere are already thinking about what the future will bring for the beloved comic-book universe brought to life in the big screen.
Of course, Marvel is already one step ahead of everything and everyone. They are already planning the upcoming, new, fresh batch of super-heroes that will grace our screens and conquer our hearts. While it's still uncertain which characters will remain, and which ones we'll have to prepare our farewells to after Avengers: Endgame is released, there's already plenty of buzz surrounding the new arrival.
One of the characters that have already been tapped for a solo movie is Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu himself. Whether you're a die-hard fan of the comic books and already know the backstory, or you're simply itching to know what to expect from here, take a look at ten things we know so far about the first Asian-led marvel film!
10 Shang-Chi Will Be Important In The MCU's Next Phase
There's still a lot we don't know, and won't know, until Avengers: Endgame finally premieres. But like any other group of thirsty and devoted fans, lovers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are already making bets on what to expect from here on. We already know Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange are set to have more movies coming out after Endgame. Plus, with the introduction of Captain Marvel, it's safe to assume Marvel is setting the stage for their next phase.
With the announcement of Shang-Chi, it's pretty clear the superhero will be a vital part of such a phase. As we all know, not just any character gets to have their stand-alone movie, so Shang-Chi's spotlight is definitely worthy of notice. Although it depends on how well the film is received by audiences, it's a safe bet that this won't be the last we see him.
9 The Script Is Being Written By Dave Callaham
No word has been spoken about who will star in the upcoming movie. While fans everywhere are burning with excitement and anticipation, details on who is involved in other aspects of the project are already known. For instance, it's been disclosed that Shang-Chi is being written by super-hero movie veteran Dave Callaham.
Callaham is no stranger to the marvelous world of comic-book characters transported into the big screen. The Chinese-American writer was a part of Wonder Woman: 1984's script, as well as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2. Choosing David Callaham as the main writer is a fantastic move on Marvel's side. Not only does he have extensive experience with comic-book characters, but he's also of Chinese descent, adding to the fantastic diversity the studio has been displaying on the MCU's movies casts and teams.
8 Destin Daniel Cretton Will Be Directing
On the topic of diversity, it's also been announced Shang-Chi will be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. After Black Panther's success, it's no wonder Marvel is looking to duplicate the movie's popularity. The studio has been very vocal about wanting to include more diversity in their projects, and Shang-Chi represents the hopes that the movie will resonate amongst Asians viewers in a similar fashion that Black Panther did.
Destin Daniel Cretton will make the leap from indie movies to big-budget films by embracing this new project. Funnily enough, the director now finds himself working closely with Brie Larson, star of Captain Marvel, and Michael B. Jordan, the infamous Black Panther's Killmonger, on the upcoming drama "Just Mercy".
7 The Lead Character Doesn't Have Any Actual Superpowers
In good old Black Widow fashion, the first main Asian character in Marvel doesn't have any actual superpowers. Does this mean he isn't powerful or doesn't deserve his own stand-alone movie? Absolutely not.
Shang-Chi, created in 1972 by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin, holds the title of 'Master of Kung Fu'. That designation alone is enough to give fans a hint of just how cool he is! Shang-Chi's mental and physical discipline is unparalleled, mostly because he's been trained pretty much since birth to become a human combat machine. He's fluent in every single martial art there is, and his ability to control his body and mind down to a tee make him fit to go up against even the most powerful Marvel characters we've encountered so far!
6 He Might Already Be Connected To The Avengers
Since Marvel is planning to introduce hero Shang-Chi as one of its new main characters, it's safe to assume he'll join the Avengers in the universe's fourth stage. While we don't know exactly how MCU is planning to play this, according to the comics, Shang-Chi isn't entirely new to the initiative.
We first see the Master of Kung Fu being in touch with the Avengers when joining Steve Rogers' Secret Avengers team. Their job is to go on secret assignments throughout various points to, well, do what the Avengers do best - save the world. During these missions, it's already been established that Shang-Chi is more than capable of fending for himself, representing a fantastic asset for the team. Whether or not this is how the character will be incorporated into the Avengers as we know them in MCU, we'll just have to wait and see.
5 We'll Probably See Him Join Well Established Characters In The MCU
As we all know, it's not rare for Marvel to take liberties when it comes to getting characters to make the leap from the pages to the screen. Incorporating every single hero, villain, backstory, and encounter would be impossible, so it's understandable that some things will inevitably be slightly different.
However, it's very possible that we'll see Shang-Chi interact, and even fight alongside and against, characters we already love and have been following since the very beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Besides being part of the Secret Avengers initiative, in the comics, Shang-Chi has teamed up with the likes of Spider-Man, Black Widow, and Ant-Man. He has even helped to fight Thanos himself! The possibility of seeing other beloved Marvel characters on Shang-Chin's first movie is, therefore, very real. We wouldn't expect anything else from Marvel!
4 Don't Expect Stereotypical Portrayals
A very problematic and widespread issue in the entertainment industry a few years back was undoubtedly its stereotypical and downright offensive portrayal of POC characters. Shang-Chin, being one of the first Asian characters to appear in the Marvel comic books, didn't escape the trend.
The character was often portrayed in a disrespectful manner, which Marvel eventually admitted, drastically changing the way Shang-Chin was portrayed in the comics. With the universal call for prejudice in all areas to be shut down, and Marvel's own admission to wanting more positive and diverse representations in its projects, Shan-Chi will definitely be portrayed the way it deserves - completely free of stereotypes.
3 Shang-Chi Was Supposed To Be Part Of The MCU Back In 2005
We still don't know exactly when we can expect the movie about Shang-Chi to hit theatres. There's no information about the cast, and it will probably take a while for new scoops on the project to arrive. Marvel still has other films coming out that are in a much more mature stage of production, so this comes as no surprise.
However, plans to introduce the character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe are far from being brand new. While the universe as we know it officially began in 2008 before Kevin Feige took over as president, plans were already being made to kick-start the franchise. And these plans, way back in 2005, included none other than Shang-Chi himself, as one of the characters that would get his very own spotlight. Better late than never!
2 It's The First Time Shang-Chi Sees The Light of Day
Marvel comics have been around for decades, so it's no wonder there are numerous characters and crossovers, heroes and villains, deaths and resurrections. In one way or another, you're bound to have seen many of these characters appear in movies and tv shows throughout the years. Whether or not they were accurately represented, that's a whole other story.
While it's true that a considerable number of Marvel characters had their chance to shine and be transported to either the big or the small screen, this is not the case for Shang-Chi. The Master of Kung Fu had more than a handful of intense, cut-throat storylines in the comics, but the moment was yet to come when the character was finally allowed to get its live-action counterpart. The movie, announced by Marvel, will finally give Shang-Chi his moment in the sun, something for which fans couldn't be happier about.
1 The Character Is An Homage To The Great Bruce Lee
The character of Shang-Chi was created by Marvel in an attempt to cash in on the popularity of martial arts, and Kung Fu in particular. Of course, when creating something, all artists must find inspiration somewhere. And if what they are creating just so happens to be a character, that inspiration is sure to be derived from a real-life person.
In Shang-Chi's case, it must come as no surprise that the comic's Master of Kung Fu was modeled after one of the actual masters, Bruce Lee himself. In the past, there were actually talks of Lee's son, Brandon, playing the title role in a potential upcoming movie. After his untimely demise, this turned out to be impossible. However, as Marvel is well known for doing such a fantastic job casting the superheroes that we all know and love, whoever does play Shang-Chi is sure to hit the nail on the head.