Marvel Studios appears to be moving full-speed-ahead with ‘Shang-Chi: Master of Kung-Fu’, to be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, based on a script from Dave Callaham. Reportedly, among the actors Marvel wants to meet with regarding this film are Ludi Lin (‘Power Rangers’) and Ross Butler (‘Shazam!’). But another name has been mentioned, and that is Donnie Yen.
Yen is a martial arts superstar in his native China, and his mastery has made him popular with western audiences as well, thanks to films such as the ‘Ip Man’ franchise. He has also co-starred in western productions, such as ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’, and the upcoming live-action adaptation of ‘Mulan’ from Disney.
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Since Marvel Studios is another subsidiary of Disney, along with Lucasfilm, it appears that Yen already has an established relationship with the studio, so his odds of starring in ‘Shang-Chi’ are pretty good, but it’s somewhat unlikely that he will have the lead role. He still looks great, but Yen is 55 years-old. Considering that signing on to the MCU usually means about a ten-year commitment, the studio will likely look to someone in their twenties, but that’s not carved in stone. Considering that Jackie Chan is still kicking (literally) at 65, there’s no reason Yen couldn’t do the same.
But there is another role that Yen might be better suited for. As reported in May, the studio was reportedly seeking an actor between the ages of 45 and 60 to play a “wise, old statesman,” who is “the leader of his people.” This could be a positive role– a mentor of sorts to Shang-Chi. Or it could be a villain.
Though very little is known about ‘Shang-Chi’, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that the crime boss The Mandarin is still out there somewhere along with his mob the Ten Rings. It’s possible that The Mandarin could surface as the villain of ‘Shang-Chi’, and if so, Yen could shine in that role.
This would be a major coup for Marvel, as Yen is a superstar in China, and his presence in this film could lead to a huge turn-out in that nation, the second largest market in the world when it comes to American movies. The Marvel franchise is already huge there, but Yen’s casting could make ‘Shang-Chi’ go supernova!
Keep in mind, Yen has not been cast, and it is just a rumor that Marvel even wants to meet with him, but it sounds good!
What do you think? Would you like to see Donnie Yen in ‘Shang-Chi: Master of Kung-Fu’? And if so, as whom?
Source: The Hashtag Show