Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is coming in Marvel’s phase 4. If the world was in its proper place, we’d already be knee-deep into Phase 4. But sometimes life takes its own twists and turns and we roll with those, as is Marvel and the start of their anticipated Phase 4.
Here’s everything we know about Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings so far.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was announced back in 2019 at the San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios panel. The announcement came amid the panels talk of Phase 4 and what it would entail. Here is their Twitter announcement of Shang-Chi.
Little information, rightfully so, but just enough to allow us to dig a little deeper.
THE SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS CAST
Of course, the main question is, who is playing Shang-Chi in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings? The audition phase for Shang-Chi began last year in mid-July and the studio (Disney/Marvel) was quite adamant that whoever went up for audition was of Chinese descent. Simu Liu was one of the actors who auditioned and two days after his audition, he was offered the part.
So, just who is Simu Liu? He isn’t a newbie, that’s for sure. Liu has been acting for a little over 8 years and has been seen in both American and Canadian work. Immigrating from China, raised in Canada, Liu has appeared in shows such as Nikita, Omega, Out with Dad, Blood and Water, Taken, and Kim’s Convenience, which he was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award. On top of his acting credentials, Liu trains extensively in stunt work and martial arts. A perfect fit for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Also starring in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings as the big bad guy is Tony Chiu-Wai Leung. He’s playing The Mandarin. Leung is hugely popular in Eastern cinema, and in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings he will be making his Hollywood debut.
Also joining the cast in undisclosed roles are Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, and Ronny Chieng.
SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS PLOT
So far, Marvel has remained, as always, tight-lipped about the movie’s contents. We can gather that Shang-Chi will be duking it out with members of the Ten Rings and that The Mandarin will be heavily on his radar. But other than that, your guess is as good as ours when it comes to what Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be about.
SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS RELEASE DATE
When the movie was first announced, it was given a February 12, 2021 date. When the Coronavirus hit, that went out the window. So, Shang-Chi moved to May 7, 2021. Then COVID changed things again, so Shang-Chi has now shifted to a July 9, 2021 date. Stay tuned, you never know when that might change too.
MARVEL PUSHING DIVERSITY
For director Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy) and the Disney Co., diversity is what its all about. They did it with Black Panther, they did it with Captain Marvel, and now they look to go even further with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Not only is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings diverse, it also aims to break stereotypes. “It’s really exciting to me to be able to fill a movie like that with a bunch of Asian faces and be able to see of sides of these character than what we have seen before,” Cretton said via Observer. “Growing up, I didn’t have a superhero that looked like me and it’s really exciting to give a new generation something I did not have. I couldn’t be more excited.”
A change to The Mandarin’s persona is also in store. True, the Marvel comic view of The Mandarin early on could be described as insensitive. When Marvel tried to reinvent the character (as played by Ben Kingsley) it wasn’t just his character that didn’t go over well.
So, count Cretton as one who is looking forward to Leung bringing some reality to the part. “I think [Leung] brings a humanity that we need for that character,” the director explained. “We are not looking to contribute anymore to the Asian stereotypes that we have seen both in cinema and pop culture. We’re hoping to just show some different sides to both Asian-Americans and Chinese-Americans and Mainland Chinese characters. Tommy is such an incredible actor and I’m excited to have him help us break some of those stereotypes because that villain could easily become a punchline.”
WHO IS SHANG-CHI?
In terms of the comic books, Shang-Chi was introduced as the previously unknown son of Fu Manchu, the fictional creation of author Sax Rohmer. Fu Manchu has been a part of novels, comics, television, movies, and radio so when Marvel acquired Manchu’s rights to the super villain, Shang-Chi was not far behind.
Initially, Marvel was trying to gain the rights to the television show, Kung Fu, as they wanted to use the character of Kwai Chang Caine as one of their new superheroes. But at the time, the TV show was owned by Warner Communications, who happened to be the parent company of DC Comics. There was no way Warner would allow a rival to own their property. So, Marvel went after Fu Manchu and from that they created Shang-Chi who will be in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Throughout the early-mid ‘70s, Shang-Chi was a marvel mainstay. At the time there was a martial arts craze going on (thank you Bruce Lee) so Marvel took advantage of that interest. Shang-Chi appeared in his own comics as The Master of Kung Fu and has crossed over with many of Marvel’s Avengers to include Spider-Man, Captain America, and Iron Man. In fact, he was also recruited by Cap and Iron Man to become an Avenger, teaming up with Black Widow and Manifold. So, there is good reason for Marvel to bring Shang-Chi out of the shadows and present him to fans, new and old, into their Phase 4 as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
WHO ARE THE TEN RINGS?
The Ten Rings are a terrorist organization who many think is run by The Mandarin. They first made their appearance in the Marvel movie universe in Iron Man and have since been part of Iron Man 2, a mention in Iron Man 3, Ant-Man, and now they will be a big part of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.