Marvel Studios is moving quickly on Shang-Chi with filming reportedly set to begin this fall and casting now happening. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe may still be fresh off the entirety of Avengers: Endgame, but the universe itself is moving forward fast. In just a matter of weeks, Spider-Man: Far From Home will be in theaters and wrap up Phase 3, while Black Widow now has started filming to kick off Phase 4. Among the bounty of sequels expected, Marvel Studios is also developing new potential franchises.
One of these possible franchises could be born out of Shang-Chi, which will be the MCU's first Asian-led superhero movie. They have yet to cast the titular martial arts master, but Marvel has started to piece the film's crew together. Destin Daniel Cretton signed on to direct Shang-Chi earlier this year and signaled that production could move faster than some expected. This was further highlighted when it was reported that the solo movie would film in Australia.
Well, it now appears that cameras will start rolling on Shang-Chi later this year. Former That Hashtag Show reporter Charles Murphy revealed on his podcast Murphy's Law Podcast that Marvel is gearing up to begin production this fall and are now in the casting process. He said, "This is 100% for sure, evidence seen with my own two eyes, Shang-Chi is now casting. Shang-Chi will film in Australia fall of 2019." Coinciding with his report, The GWW revealed details on two characters who are being cast for Marvel's Australian production, which is now reportedly Shang-Chi. Marvel is looking to cast an Asian male between 40-60 years old to play a "wise, old statesman,” who is “the leader of his people," and an Asian actress in her 30s or 40s to play “one of the leader’s most skilled warriors.”
While an exact start date is not confirmed, Shang-Chi starting production this fall will put it on track to be the third Phase 4 movie to begin filming. As mentioned before, Black Widow is now shooting scenes in Norway, and The Eternals is reportedly slated to begin filming in August. Those two films will occupy Marvel's 2020 release dates, which will then put Shang-Chi on track to be the February 12, 2021 release. Even though this date was widely believed to be for Black Panther 2 given the first film's success in Black History Month 2018, the release date mentioned above is the Chinese New Year.
As far as the character breakdowns are concerned, many fans will quickly jump to the wise leader as a possible fit for The Mandarin. The real version of the major Iron Man comic foe is confirmed to exist in the MCU, and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently teased that he has plans for him and the Ten Rings to return. If the leader character is the Mandarin, then the female warrior could be one of his guards or disciples. Of course, that is just speculation at the moment. With these breakdowns now public and the casting process begun, it may not be too long before we know who will play these Shang-Chi roles and even the titular hero.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019