‘Shang-Chi’ to Be Marvel’s First Asian-Led Superhero Film

Marvel Studios is broadening the diversity of its superhero film franchises with a new movie focusing on an Asian lead. Hoping to repeat the success of this year’s “Black Panther“, the studio has reportedly been working on a “Shang-Chi” feature film adaptation that will focus on the “Master of Kung Fu”.

According to Deadline, Marvel is fast-tracking the project with Chinese-American scribe Dave Callaham, who co-wrote “Wonder Woman 1984“, tapped to write the screenplay. No director is attached just yet, but the studio is said to be looking at a number of Asian and Asian-American directors who will potentially direct the movie.

“Shang-Chi” will be Marvel’s first superhero movie tentpole franchise with an Asian protagonist. The site reports that Marvel’s goal with the new project is to “introduce a new hero who blends Asian and Asian American themes, crafted by Asian and Asian American filmmakers.”

Shang-Chi was created by Steve Englehart and Thanos creator Jim Starlin and debuted in 1973’s “Special Marvel Edition” No. 15. In the comics, he is described as the son of infamous pulp villain Fu Manchu, who trained him to become a martial artist assassin. Against his father’s wish, he becomes a superhero instead.

He has been a member of The Avengers and Heroes for Hire, and did several crossovers with other Marvel martial artists, including White Tiger, Iron Fist and the Daughters of the Dragon (Colleen Wing and Misty Knight).

The Shang-Chi movie will be a proper response to public’s outcry after Netflix’s now-canceled series “Marvel’s Iron Fist” cast a white man, Finn Jones, in the lead role, who is known as the greatest champion of martial arts.

The first season of the series received majorly negative reviews from critics, but it showed improvement in the second season with a 33% increase in approval ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. Nevertheless, the show was canceled by Netflix after only two seasons.

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