Marvel Needs To Hire Experienced Martial Artists For Shang-Chi
It shouldn't be hard for Marvel's Shang-Chi movie to avoid repeating Iron Fist's mistakes, assuming it gets a proper lock on the martial arts early on. The best way to make sure this happens is for Marvel to hire the right people. As mentioned earlier, they have already brought on Destin Daniel Cretton to helm the project. Cretton has no experience in the genre, but this won't be a problem if the director is surrounded by people with a deep appreciation and understanding of kung fu. Writer David Callaham is one of those people, but there's a lot more that can be done.
Related: Casting Shang-Chi In The MCU
The kung fu genre has always been huge in regions like China, Hong Kong, and other parts of Asia, which is where Marvel should look to first. There are so many talented Asian filmmakers who have worked in the industry for years making martial arts masterpieces like the Ip Man movies, the Ong Bak trilogy, Fist of Legend, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Any of these filmmakers brought on in producing or consultant roles would be able to make solid contributions to the film by providing meaningful advice and direction to the cast and crew.
Two key areas, as exemplified by Iron Fist, that Marvel must look at are martial arts choreographer and casting. For choreography, Shang-Chi needs a veteran of the kung fu industry like Sammo Hung or Yuen Woo-ping, two well-respected directors who certainly know their way around the genre, having directed dozens of kung fu movies dating all the way back to the 1970s.
As for Shang-Chi himself, it would be a smart move for Marvel to cast an experienced martial artist in the lead role so that camera cuts and other effects won't be needed to make the audience believe that the actor is the Master of Kung Fu. If not, Marvel can still make sure that whatever actor they choose has enough time to prepare for the role. Since the film is most likely at least two years away, that shouldn't be an issue. This same approach should also be taken in regards to the casting process; Shang-Chi's supporting cast could include at least one or two A-list martial arts stars, such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, or Donnie Yen.
With the right people overseeing the development of the project, Shang-Chi can be another massive hit for Marvel Studios - and finally put memories of Iron Fist behind us.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019