Shang-Chi: How Director Destin Daniel Cretton Brought Brilliant Kung Fu to MCU

Shang-Chi: And The Legend of the Ten Rings is going to open a whole new door of the Marvel Cinematic Universe - one filled with Eastern culture and mysticism, as well as martial arts action. At the same time, the question about Shang-Chi has always been what martial arts action would look like in a Marvel Cinematic Universe setting. The martial arts genre has achieved plenty of milestones all on its own, so what does Marvel Studios bring to the table? Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton recently spoke about taking on that challenge, during the press conference for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

In tackling the challenge of bringing Shang-Chi's signature brand of martial arts action to the screen, Destin Daniel Cretton had to give credit to his entire team for stepping the action level to Marvel levels:

"The stamp was not my stamp alone," Cretton told the press. "This was the result of a really incredible team that we put together. Our stunt team was led by Brad Allan who came from the camp of the great Jackie Chan and was not only trained there to do great martial arts, but really trained to do storytelling and to do physical storytelling with setups and payoffs and physical gags and jokes and humor.

And he also put together an incredible team of choreographers from mainland China and Hong Kong, some of which brought this other really beautiful choreo[graphy] that you could describe some of these fights scenes as elegant and emotional... We have a fight scene where two people fall in love by the end of it... and these are all fight scenes that are described in ways that I never thought I could describe a fight scene, and I feel so proud to have them all and be a part of this movie."

Of course, Cretton also had the distinct advantage of having the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe sandbox to play in - and according to the filmmaker, Kevin Feige and co. were plenty generous:

"Everything at Marvel, I found, which was surprising, I found it to be incredibly collaborative... anybody who has a good idea, if it's a good idea that could make the movie better, it rises to the top. I think making a movie that is a part of this grander universe that already exists is really fun. There's being able to tap into the setups and questions that were created years ago and be able to find creative ways of answering them. And at the end of our movie, knowing that our characters will exist and continue to live on, and making sure that we are sending them down a road where that makes sense in the grander universe was a really fun, creative process."

Shang Chi One Week Countdown Trailer Spoilers
(Photo: Marvel Studios)

Shang-Chi trailer has already revealed MCU characters like Wong and Abomination will be showing up, and Ben Kingsley Trevor Slattery will be making a return. Who knows what other major MCU developments and characters could be tied to Shang-Chi?

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be in theaters on September 3rd.