Shang-Chi Release Date Confirmed For 2021

Shang Chi SDCC

Marvel Studios has confirmed the official release date of Shang-Chi. Created by Jim Starlin and Steven Englehart back in 1973, in the comics Shang-Chi is Marvel's premiere martial artist. He was spun off from novelist Sax Rohmer's licensed property as the unknown son of the villainous Fu Manchu; Marvel later played that element down again when they lost the license to Fu Manchu.

Although Marvel has been trying to keep their Phase 4 slate under wraps, there have long been reports that the studio was working on a Shang-Chi film. Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12) has been hired as Shang-Chi's director, with screenwriter David Callaham (co-writer of Wonder Woman 1984) working on the script. Until Marvel's Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con, however, pretty much everything has just been rumor.

Related: Marvel Studios Officially Announces Phase 4 Movies & Release Dates

As had been widely expected, Marvel has used their San Diego Comic-Con presentation to reveal some of their upcoming slate. They've officially confirmed that Shang-Chi: Legend of the Ten Rings will be released at February 12, 2021, making this one of the earliest films in Phase 4. This fits with reports that Shang-Chi would begin production this fall.

Shang-Chi Master of Kung Fu

The February release date means that Shang-Chi: Legend of the Ten Rings will come out over Chinese New Year, which is perfect timing for the first Marvel movie to be led by an Asian actor. Marvel has cast Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, with Tony Leung as the real Mandarin. This probably means that Shang-Chi's backstory has been rewritten a little, with the Mandarin substituting for Fu Manchu as his father.

The reference to the "Ten Rings" in the title is an interesting one. In the MCU, the Ten Rings were a terrorist organization who used advanced technology to wreak havoc across the globe. They were a major threat in the first two Iron Man films, but haven't been seen on the big screen since 2010's Iron Man 2. Official tie-in comics have, however, revealed that they've still been active; in fact, a major Ten Rings terrorist operation was the reason War Machine wasn't in the United States to battle against the Chitauri in The Avengers. But the use of the word "Legend" may link this back to the comic book origin of the Mandarin as well. In the comics, the Mandarin wields ten mystical rings of power, each of which has a different ability. Back in 2013, the MCU was still a little wary of introducing explicit magic; the success of Doctor Strange and Thor: Ragnarok proves they have no reason to be concerned any more.

More: Marvel's Eternals Cast Confirmed

Source: Marvel Studios

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