Published: Tue, December 04, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Marvel is Finally Developing ‘Shang-Chi,’ Their First Asian Superhero Movie

Marvel is Finally Developing ‘Shang-Chi,’ Their First Asian Superhero Movie

Avengers: Infinity War was a financial smash for Marvel Studios this year, but Black Panther actually made more money in the United States and now sits at #3 on the all-time box office domestic grosses list. While Marvel Studios has kept mum about any and all upcoming projects so as to keep the secrets of Avengers 4 intact, word is starting to leak about what they have on tap for the post-Avengers 4 MCU.

According to Deadline, Marvel studios has put Chinese-American writer Dave Callaham in charge of writing the screenplay and is now looking for potential Asian and Asian-American directors to head the film.

Marvel Studios is reportedly eyeing its first tentpole superhero franchise with an Asian lead, focused on the character Shang-Chi. Callaham most recently co-wrote the sequel for Wonder Woman 1984, and is writing the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2.

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Deadline's report goes on to specify that Callaham's screenplay will modernize the character, a move created to "avoid stereotypes that many comic characters of that era were saddled with". The Fu Manchu connection, however, was eventually retconned when Marvel lost the rights to that character and it was revealed that "Fu Manchu" was an alias for Shang-Chi's real father, the sorcerer Zhang Zu.

The general plot holds that Shang-Chi was born in Hunan Province in communist China. In the comics, Shang-Chi is trained from childhood in seclusion; he becomes the world's greatest martial artist. Fortunately, the script will "modernize" the tale of Shang-Chi to avoid retelling a story that could set Asians back by nearly a century.

Though the character of Shang-Chi has persisted through Marvel Comics books over the years, particularly his recruitment to the Avengers team in 2012, the character has not been formally introduced or loudly hinted to in any recent film or TV project.

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