Jim Starlin, comic book legend and co-creator of "Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu," sat down with ComicBook.com during San Diego Comic-Con this week to discuss the potential future of his character within the Marcel Cinematic Universe. An official release date is expected to be announced on Saturday afternoon during Marvel's Hall H panel, but very little is still known about the story and what direction they'll go with its hero and villain.
Starlin made it clear he hopes the movie doesn't use Fu Manchu as the main villain given his controversial depictions during his initial appearances in the comic.
I can't imagine them doing anything but starting off with an origin story, because you've got to begin somewhere," he said. "I think that it'll be loosely based around what we did in the first few issues, I only did three issues of the book. I imagine there will be some eliminations. Like we won't see Fu Manchu in book, thank god."
He was then asked about the possibility of using the MCU's version of The Mandarin. For those who don't recall, Ben Kingsley's depiction as The Mandarin turned out to be a facade as part of an evil scheme from Guy Pearce's Aldrich Killian. However it turns out the "real" Mandarin still exists somewhere in the MCU, as hinted at in the short film All Hail The King that was released on the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray.
"They still have Ben Kingsley around, they could always use The Mandarin," Starlin said. "That's a shot in the dark."
Regardless of whichever villain winds up in the movie, Starlin said he presumes the film will have a much lighter tone than the original comic in 1973.
"I would think because of the screenwriter (Dave Callaham) who's got sort of a comedic banter, at least [historically], that they're probably going to lighten it up from what it was," he said. "And that'll be a good thing because there are about a million Kung Fu movies out there. And you have to do something really different to differentiate yourself from it. Marvel's been pretty good about coming up with those hooks that make it a little bit different.