Marvel's 'Shang-Chi' Script Is "Modernized," Will Avoid Asian Stereotypes

Fans got a surprise today when a report revealed the Shang-Chi movie now has a director in Destin Daniel Cretton, making the Master of Kung Fu the next hero to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The character was created amid the martial arts craze in the 1970s, and some of Shang-Chi's earliest appearances are criticized for their stereotypical approach. But according to Deadline, the script by David Callaham will modernize Shang-Chi to avoid such portrayals.

Cretton and Callaham are both Asian-American filmmakers. Cretton made the critically-acclaimed film Short Term 12, which starred Captain Marvel herself Brie Larson in her first leading role. He's currently directing Just Mercy, which he also wrote, with Larson and Michael B. Jordan starring.

Callaham has comic book credentials in his own write, including the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 on which he worked with director Patty Jenkins and Geoff Johns. He's also set to write the sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and created The Expendables franchise starring Sylvester Stallone and other action film icons.

After the success of Black Panther, Marvel Studios is looking at creative talents with the background to tackle diverse characters from their pantheon.

Shang-Chi is a beloved character in the pages of Marvel Comics. In recent years, he has become a prominent member of the Avengers and the Secret Avengers, with major roles in both Jonathan Hickman and Warren Ellis' runs on the titles. He has since taken a back seat, but with news of a new movie it's likely that Marvel will push the character to the forefront of their publishing initiative.

Shang-Chi does not yet have a release date, but with a script in development and now a director hired, it could be coming in just a couple of years. Marvel Studios has three release dates claimed for 2021, including February 12th, May 7th, and November 5th. Don't be surprised if the Master of Kung Fu makes his big debut on one of those dates.

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