The mystery of Shang-Chi’s Marvel Cinematic Universe absence is about to be solved.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Short Term 12‘s Destin Daniel Cretton will direct a film based on the Marvel Comic character Shang-Chi: Master of Kung-Fu. Created by Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin, the character debuted in 1973’s Marvel Special Edition #15 as a previously unknown son of Sax Rohmer’s literary character Fu Manchu — although, Marvel’s original intent with the character stems from their attempts to license a comic book based on the popular Kung Fu television series. Three issues later, Marvel Special Edition was renamed The Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung-Fu. Catching the wave of interest in martial arts during the decade, Shang-Chi ran for another 9 years.
Eventually, Marvel lost the rights to the Fu Manchu characters and redeveloped Shang-Chi’s origins to include an immortal father wholly owned by Marvel Entertainment.
Wonder Woman 1984‘s Dave Callahan is writing the script, which will update the characters to the modern day and set-up a largely Asian cast. The project is not yet on Marvel’s release schedule, but with a director onboard, expect it in the next two-to-three years. Indeed, the inclusion of Shang-Chi in the near-term plans suggests a different fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe than previously believed. At one point, it was said the next series of films would focus on the cosmic aspects of the MCU set up in the two Guardians of the Galaxy films. But with the dismissal of that series’ director, James Gunn, it appears the focus will remain on Earth with Shang-Chi and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) getting their own solo movies. That said, a movie based on the Eternals is also in the works with Chloe Zhao at the helm and after its successful first week at the box office, a Captain Marvel sequel is definitely happening. Both will no doubt have cosmic aspects to their storylines.
In the meantime, thoughts immediately turn to casting as Marvel searches for the person to play Shang-Chi.
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