Netflix is gradually morphing into the place to be for martial arts fans, particularly with regard to their various Marvel superhero properties.
With one season of “Daredevil” already in the can, a second season right around the corner and their upcoming adaptation of “Iron Fist” in pre-production, Marvel and Netflix are now said to be getting the ball rolling on another of the most beloved martial artists of the Marvel Universe, Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu!
The character will reportedly make his debut in the upcoming “Iron Fist” series, which is set to get going next month, with the possibility of his own Netflix series to be in the works later on down the road. With Iron Fist himself already set to be portrayed by Finn Jones of “Game of Thrones” fame (looks like it’s back to guessing who Scott Adkins is in “Doctor Strange”!), Marvel is reportedly in the process of auditioning Asian-Americans to portray Shang Chi.
Like Iron Fist and Daredevil, Shang Chi is one of Marvel’s most explicitly martial-arts-themed characters. Both he and Iron Fist first appeared in the early seventies as part of an attempt to capitalize on the rise in popularity of martial arts films during that era, with Shang Chi (created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin) first featuring in Special Marvel Edition #15 in December 1973. Created as the son of the villainous Fu Manchu, Shang Chi is known as being among the greatest martial artists in the Marvel Universe and has been a part of every team; from the Heroes for Hire all the way to The Avengers, along with appearing in books ranging from “Deadly Hands of Kung Fu” to his own one titled “Shang Chi: Master of Kung Fu”.
Anyone who’s seen “Daredevil” will agree that Marvel and Netflix really know how to deliver the goods in a martial arts’ packed series, so this is definitely exciting news, and there are definitely plenty of great candidates to don the mantle of Shang Chi (Tiger Chen of “Man of Tai Chi” comes to mind). Hopefully, this means that when Marvel’s “Avengers”-style Netflix team up (“The Defenders”) finally arrives, Shang Chi will be carrying a membership card!
Stay tuned for more info on the upcoming Netflix debuts of Shang Chi and Iron Fist as they arrive!