Marvel Studios is bringing Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy) on board to direct Shang-Chi, Marvel’s first superhero movie franchise starring an Asian protagonist.
Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984, Zombieland 2, Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse 2) wrote the script. Marvel’s goal with the new project is to introduce a hero who blends Asian and Asian American themes, crafted by Asian and Asian American filmmakers.
Shang-Chi, also known as The Master of Kung Fu, was first introduced in the pages of Special Marvel Edition #15 back in 1973 after they’d failed to obtain the rights to the then-popular TV series Kung Fu, which starred David Carradine. A master of fighting, he eventually gains the ability to create an infinite amount of replicas of himself. After Special Marvel Edition changed its name to The Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu, the character went on to appear in issues of Marvel Team-Up and Marvel Two-in-One. He’s also been a member of The Avengers and Heroes for Hire, the latter alongside fellow kung fu masters Daughters of the Dragon.
As the MCU moves into Phase 4 and beyond, the studio has started to branch out, working with more filmmakers who come from diverse backgrounds. Included in this roster are Captain Marvel co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Ryan Coogler, who helmed Black Panther as well as its upcoming sequel, and Taika Waititi, who directed the acclaimed Thor: Ragnarok. Also in the pipeline is The Eternals, which is being helmed by The Rider’s Chloé Zhao and Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland, who will direct Scarlett Johansson’s long-awaited stand-alone film following Black Widow.