Destin Daniel Cretton is set to direct Marvel Studios' Shang-Chi movie. The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has yet to be officially announced after Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, but Marvel Studios is still making progress behind the scenes. With several characters lined up to get sequels, Marvel is also planning to launch new franchises like The Eternals and one centered around the Master of Kung Fu, Shang-Chi.
Although the film was part of the earliest slate of movies for Marvel Studios, it fell out of development for years. News of the project picking up steam again came last year when Dave Callaham was hired to write the script for a Shang-Chi solo movie, which may be the first by Marvel to star an Asian actor. In addition to finding an Asian star, Marvel also reportedly wanted to find an Asian director to tackle the project - and now they have.
Related: Casting Shang-Chi In The MCU
According to Deadline, Destin Daniel Cretton has been hired by Marvel Studios to direct Shang-Chi. Cretton broke out in 2012 with the Brie Larson-led drama Short Term 12 and the pair later teamed up on 2017's The Glass House. Shang-Chi is expected to be Cretton's next project after he's completed Just Mercy, which once again stars the Captain Marvel lead and fellow MCU star Michael B. Jordan.
The hiring of Cretton continues Marvel's tendency to hire indie directors who specialize in characters or story to tackle their giant blockbusters. They've helped turn Anthony and Joe Russo, James Gunn, Taika Waititi, Jon Favreau, and Ryan Coogler into some of the biggest working directors, and their recent hirings of Cate Shortland on Black Widow and Chloé Zhao on The Eternals could do the same for them. According to THR, some of the other contenders to direct Shang-Chi were Justin Tipping (Dear White People), Alan Yang (Master of Young), and Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones, The Mandalorian) before Marvel ultimately decided Cretton was the choice.
Cretton will hopefully bring his character-based approach to Shang-Chi to help deliver a memorable version of the character, but he'll also need to make the Master of Kung Fu fully realized in action. He has yet to direct anything close to the action genre, so his ability bringing the fights that Shang-Chi will feature to life is not yet known. But, with the support of skilled stunt and fight coordinators, Cretton will hopefully be able to show his versatility as a director here. Now that he is onboard the film, fans will anxiously wait to see what the timeline for the movie will become. There's no plot details, stars attached, or release date set at this time, but some of those Shang-Chi details could arrive later this year.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019