Among the ever-growing list of comic book superheroes to make the leap to the big screen, Marvel’s Shang-Chi has decidedly yet to receive his proper due. That’s not been for lack of trying, as the character was rumored to appear in the first season of the Marvel-Netflix series “Iron Fist“. However, it’s now official that Shang-Chi will finally make the leap to live-action with the news of Marvel Studios greenlighting a film adaptation of the character to appear within the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
The film is reportedly being penned by screenwriter David Callaham, whose past credits include the first two films in “The Expendables” franchise, along with 2014’s “Godzilla” and the upcoming “Wonder Woman 1984”. Marvel is also reportedly actively seeking an Asian director to helm the project, in the interest of tapping into the same cultural vein within the Asian demographic as was the case for Ryan Coogler’s black-centric superhero adventure, “Black Panther“. (You can also check out our exclusive: Training the Black Panther.)
Shang-Chi was originally created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin, and made his comic book debut in the “Special Marvel Edition” in December 1973. Like Iron Fist before him, Shang-Chi was created to cash in on the 70’s kung fu movie craze. Owing to Marvel’s failure to secure the rights to adapt the TV series “Kung Fu” to a comic book title, Shang-Chi would become a staple character of the company’s martial arts-themed book, “Deadly Hands of Kung Fu”, along with headlining his own title, “Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu”.
What’s especially interesting in regards to the news of the “Shang-Chi” film is that it comes in the wake of the cancellation of Netflix’s Marvel shows “Iron Fist”, “Luke Cage”, and “Daredevil” – cancellations that have left fans in a state of shock and perplexity, considering the astonishing excellence of each show’s respective second and third season. Given the rather open-ended nature of the cancellation statements, there’s been considerable speculation of the shows continuing elsewhere, and fans of Iron Fist and Daredevil specifically may now have something to latch on to with the newly announced “Shang-Chi” film.
Shang-Chi is well-known among comic book readers for his close friendship with Danny Rand and Matt Murdock, and the three together compromise Marvel’s most martial arts-centric characters by far. With the Marvel-Netflix titles having yet to make a definitive, on-screen crossover with their big screen counterparts, cameos by Iron Fist and Daredevil could well serve as the perfect chance to facilitate such a crossover, while continuing the respective stories of each character.
Of course, the real question of the day is just who will ultimately snatch up the role of the ‘Master of Kung Fu’, and make history as the first Asian lead in a major superhero film. Furthermore, his news also comes in the wake of the revelation of Brandon Lee having been in talks for the role (with Stan Lee himself, no less), prior to his untimely death. That knowledge alone leaves whoever tackles the role with some seriously big shoes to fill. That being said, I’ve previously fancast Tiger Chen or Philip Ng for the role, and we can probably all agree that the Master of Kung Fu would be in good (and deadly) hands with either of them!
Stay tuned for more info on the newly announced “Shang-Chi” movie as it arrives! Excited to see Shang-Chi finally make the leap to the big screen; who would be your #1 to play the Master of Kung Fu? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. (Up your CHI power, grab a t-shirt for you, your friends and family this Xmas and get into a world of FU, subscribe for videos too!)