During the Marvel panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel boss Kevin Fiege announced the main cast of the upcoming film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Simu Liu (Fresh Off the Boat) will play the titular role as Shang-Chi and Tony Leung (In the Mood for Love) and Awkwafina will also star in main roles. The film plot has not been revealed, but the comics on which its based follow a Chinese boy whose father locks him in a compound to train in the martial arts until he is unleashed to complete his father’s questionable tasks.
The Shang-Chi comics began in 1973, but will of course be modernized for the film adaptation. Inspired by Bruce Lee and the Kung-fu movies of the 70s, Shang-chi’s characterization depended largely on stereotypes to appeal to American audiences. Marvel has been known for revitalizing characters from the comics and putting a new spin on them, so hopefully they can bring Shang-chi to life in a way that Asian-American audiences can connect to in the same way that black audiences connected to Black Panther. With plans to enlist a largely Asian and Asian-American crew (including director Destin Daniel Cretton), Marvel wants to instill an authentic Asian identity into the film.
The film is set to be released on February 12, 2021.