Marvel Studios is fast-tracking Shang-Chi to be its first superhero movie tentpole franchise with an Asian protagonist. The studio has set Chinese-American scribe Dave Callaham to write the screenplay, and Deadline hears Marvel is already looking at a number of Asian and Asian-American directors who want to do something as potentially monumental as was accomplished in Marvel’s first viable Best Picture candidate, Black Panther. That film tied into African and African American cultures and the sensibilities of its nearly all-black cast, with a black director in Ryan Coogler and writer in Joe Robert Cole. The goal here is to do a similar thing: introduce a new hero who blends Asian and Asian American themes, crafted by Asian and Asian American filmmakers.
Callaham has strong credentials in the superhero and franchise-building realms and his own experiences as a Chinese-American will inform the Shang-Chi movie mythology, sources said. His recent work includes co-writing with Patty Jenkins and Geoff Johns the upcoming DC Warner Bros sequel Wonder Woman 1984, and he is writing Sony’s animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2. He also wrote initial drafts of Zombieland 2, which begins production in January, and created and produced Amazon’s recent action comedy series Jean-Claude Van Johnson, starring Jean- Claude Van Damme. Callaham also created the Expendables franchise as well as the story for the Legendary’s Godzilla reboot.
He’s got two comedies at Netflix: Callaham wrote the Black List-ed dark comedy caper script Jackpot, which Will Gluck will direct; and he wrote and is producing with Channing Tatum, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, and Archer’s Adam Reid and Matt Thompson, the animated comedy America: The Motion Picture. Thompson is directing.
Shang-Chi first appeared in Special Marvel Edition #15 in December 1973, hatched by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin. The script will modernize the hero to avoid stereotypes that many comic characters of that era were saddled with. The comic launched around the time that Enter the Dragon became a global sensation and martial arts films raged. In the comics, Shang-Chi is the son of China-based globalist who raised and educated his progeny in his reclusive China compound, closed off to the outside world. The son trained in the martial arts and developed unsurpassed skills. He is eventually introduced to the outside world to do his father’s bidding, and then has to come to grips with the fact his revered father might not be the humanitarian he has claimed to be and is closer to what others call him: The Devil’s Doctor. He also might be centuries old. The deceit makes them bitter enemies.
Could be fun, interested to see what Asian talent they get for this. The writer doesn't have the best track record though, although he seems to have infinite upcoming projects, so we'll see how his more recent films are.
The studio announced that Simu Liu has been tapped to star in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” during its Hall H presentation at Comic Con alongside Awkwafina. Destin Cretton is on board to direct.
Liu, whose family moved from China to Canada when he was a child, originally worked as an accountant, before moving over to acting as an extra in Legendary’s “Pacific Rim” in 2012.
Soon after, he began nabbing smaller roles in films like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Nikita” before getting his big break in the short lived NBC series “Taken.” Following “Taken,” he landed one of the lead roles in “Kim’s Convience.”
Liu is best known for his Canadian TV show “Kim’s Convience,” which has been on air since 2016. Liu was also recently tapped to join the cast of “Fresh Off the Boat” upcoming season.
In the actuality, Iron Man 3 in itself was one big backtrack. Jon F. and his creative team were setting up Mandarin as the big bad of the MCU since Iron Man 1, which is why that first movie is filled with references to the Mandarin. On the commentary track for Iron Man 2 he says that all of the nods to the Mandarin will lead into the third movie. Which he didn't direct because of the fallout with MS after IM2. Everything by that point was set in stone: The Mandarin was implied to be an international terrorist of Asian heritage. In one of the first drafts of the first movie the Mandarin was an Indonesian terrorist that was pretending to be a business partner of Stark. Then came Shane Black, who had no intention of following what was established by the previous creative team. He went his own way and contradicted everything that the previous director set up.
They kinda already did with the All Hail the King one-shot that was on the Thor: The Dark World special features in 2013. At the end of that, imposter-Mandarin/Slattery (Ben Kingsley) is broken out of prison in order to meet the real Mandarin.