The Shang-Chi movie may be further along in development than anyone realized, as there is evidence to suggest that the film is gearing up to be produced in Australia.
Shang-Chi is a martial arts hero who debuted in the '70s in the pages of Master of Kung Fu, as Marvel had failed to acquire the rights to the Kung-Fu television series and decided to create their own similar property. Shang-Chi has made sporadic appearances over the years and even managed to acquire superpowers after being exposed to cosmic radiation, which allowed him to create copies of himself. A Shang-Chi movie is currently in the early stages of development.
It's possible that Shang-Chi has its filming location locked down, as it has been revealed that a Marvel movie project is reportedly being filmed in Sydney's Fox Studios, and evidence points to it being Shang-Chi. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Federal Arts Minister Mitch Fifield has confirmed that an unnamed Marvel movie is being filmed in the country and that it will be receiving a one-off payment of $24 million in tax incentives. He said:
"Securing this latest production will bring over $150 million of new international investment, create 4700 new Australian jobs and use the services of around 1200 local businesses."
The State Arts Minister Don Harwin mentioned that the production would be receiving support from the Made in NSW Fund (NSW standing for New South Wales), and it's his comments about the need for stunt performers that suggests that the production is linked to Shang-Chi. He said, "The film needs a large workforce of highly specialised special effects technicians and will also require sophisticated stunts, all of which NSW's incredibly skilled and experienced screen industry can deliver."
The Shang-Chi movie currently has Destin Daniel Cretton tapped for the director seat, but there is still no word on who will be playing the title role. There is still no information known about the story of Shang-Chi, but the character is obscure enough that Marvel might attempt to make him an Australian native, as Australia has more people of Chinese ancestry than any other country outside of Asia.
Marvel has previously attempted to create a martial arts-themed project with the Iron Fist Netflix TV series, which received a polarizing reception from fans. Shang-Chi seems like a strange choice to make a movie about, as he has been treated like a Bruce Lee clone in many of his appearances, but the characters in Guardians of the Galaxy was just as obscure before their film debut and Marvel has proven that they can work magic with the strangest corners of the comic book universe.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
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