Marvel has found its star for ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ (full title) in ‘Kim’s Convenience’ star Simu Liu. Director Destin Daniel Cretton insisted on finding a Chinese actor or an actor of Chinese descent, and Liu fits that bill. Ironically, his most famous role, as Jung Kim on ‘Kim’s Convenience’, is Korean. ‘Shang-Chi’ will also star that chick that’s in everything Awkwafina and veteran action star Tony Chiu-Wai Leung. It was announced during Marvel Studio’s massive SDCC panel that the film would be known by the full name ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ as opposed to simply ‘Shang-Chi’ or ‘Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu’, the name most frequently given to the character’s starring publications.
The name also reveals that Shang-Chi will be taking on The Mandarin, a longtime Iron Man foe. In the comics, he wears ten rings, which can each fire a different type of energy beam. In the movies, the name “The Ten Rings” has been applied to an Asian crime syndicate. Ben Kingsley portrayed the character Trevor Slattery, an actor pretending to be The Mandarin, in ‘Iron Man 3’, and reprised the role in a ‘Marvel One-Shot’. The real Mandarin has never appeared in the flesh in a movie.
The Mandarin is being substituted for Fu Manchu, a classic pulp villain that was Shang-Chi’s father in the comics. That character was the product of a different time and reeked of “yellow peril” stereotypes. (Similar stereotypes led to the reinterpretation of the Ancient One in ‘Doctor Strange’.) In a twist, it sounds as though The Mandarin will be Shang-Chi’s father, instead.
This could be Leung’s role, but it doesn’t appear that it was revealed.
In the comics, Shang-Chi was raised by his father to be the ultimate assassin. The plan worked, but after his first kill, Shang-Chi discovered his father’s evil nature and fled. He wandered seeking redemption and often found himself battling his father and other evil forces from within the Marvel Universe.
Apparently, Marvel’s Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin created Shang-Chi after Marvel tried and failed to acquire the rights to make a comic book based on the TV show ‘Kung Fu’. While the character’s heyday was the ’70s, he was introduced as a member of the Avengers in 2012’s Marvel Now! wave. He was given the power to create duplicates of himself, but it’s doubted that this ability will be used in the movie.
Marvel Studios hopes that ‘Shang-Chi’ will break barriers at the box office the same way that ‘Black Panther’ did. Kevin Feige is producing, with Marvel’s Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and Jonathan Schwartz executive producing. Dave Callaham (‘Wonder Woman 1984’) wrote the screenplay.
Liu made a small appearance in ‘Pacific Rim’, co-starred on the series ‘Blood and Water’ (which combined dialogue in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin), and more.
‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ is expected to open in theaters in February 2021.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter