Marvel's Shang-Chi Movie in Development

Marvel Shang-Chi Movie Announced

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is launching its first movie centered around an Asian superhero: Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu!

Deadline has dropped the exclusive report that Shang-Chi is now being fast-tracked through development at Marvel Studios. Dave Callaham, an Asian-American screenwriter, has been tapped to handle the script; reports are that an Asian or Asian-American director is being sought for the project. The reported goal is for Marvel to do for Asian / Asian-American culture what the studio did for African / African-American culture with the unprecedented success of Black Panther in 2018.

In case you don't know, Shang-Chi came out of the early 1970s, when Marvel tried and failed to acquire the rights to the Kung Fu TV show, and instead development Shang-Chi as the son of Dr. Fu Manchu, a character created by Sax Rohmer that Marvel acquired. The character's world was originally built around Rohmer's pulp stories, chronicling how Shang-Chi was raised and trained by his father Fu Manchu to be part of an evil empire bent on world conquest. Instead, Shang-Chi met his father's nemesis Sir Denis Nayland Smith, and converted from evil to good, with the goal of opposing his father.

In the comics, Shang-Chi has been a secret agent, an adventurer, and has joined teams like the Heroes for Hire and recently The Avengers. Though not superpowered, per se, Shang-Chi is unparalleled in his combat abilities, and can do things most humans cannot, through his mastery of chi. He's a character that has been rumored for the MCU for years - though most fans expected him to appear as part of the Marvel Netflix universe, as the character's martial arts background and mythos made him seem like a good spinoff of the Iron Fist TV series. With that show now canceled (at least for now), it looks like Shang-Chi will be stepping in to fill the void. Blockbuster martial arts fantasy/action is ready for the sort of comeback we saw in its 2000s heyday of "wire-fu" films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; mixed with a little of dose of John Wick edge, Marvel could indeed make Shang-Chi into something epic.

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Callaham has been enjoying a growing resume in the superhero movie genre, having helped write Wonder Woman 1984, the upcoming sequel to DC's breakout female superhero movie franchise. He'll also be tackling script duties on the upcoming sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. He's also no stranger on adapting Asian cultural icons into blockbuster movies (he did the story for the Godzilla reboot), as well as helping launching big action franchises (The Expendables). In short: he's a perfect "get" for this Marvel Studios project.

Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp are now available as a digital download as well as on Blu-ray and DVD. Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universemovies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, Avengers 4 on May 3, 2019, and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019.