I consider myself someone fairly well-versed in Marvel’s expanded universe and roster of superheroes. That being said, that universe and roster are, quite frankly, absurdly gigantic, which is why some heroes tend to slip through the cracks. But while someone like Shang-Chi may not be as ubiquitous as Spider-Man or Captain America, he’s no less of a hero, and he’s more than worth his blockbuster film.
Today, Marvel Studios released the first trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the next major film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the first MCU product in a while that’ll see a proper theatrical release instead of a run on Disney+. Filming originally began in February of last year, but things got delayed a bit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They eventually managed to get things back on track, though, and now the film is scheduled for release on September 3, 2021.
As Shang-Chi is the first MCU film to star an Asian protagonist, the production of the film has meant a lot to its staff and cast. When director Destin Daniel Cretton first heard the announcement that Marvel was developing a Shang-Chi film, he had an interesting introspective moment. “When that announcement came out, I just went instantly back to my childhood,” Cretton told Entertainment Weekly. “[Growing up] all I had was Spider-Man. Because he had the mask on, I could dress up like Spider-Man for Halloween. I had a handful of other characters that looked like me on screen, but there were maybe two or three that I could choose from, and superheroes were not a part of that.”
— Rotten Tomatoes (@RottenTomatoes) April 19, 2021
Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu, who will be filling the role of Shang-Chi as he confronts his childhood assassin training for the mysterious Ten Rings organization, is equally excited to be part of such a milestone film. “The most exciting thing about stepping into this character was that his backstory has never been told before,” Liu says. “We know so many different versions of Batman’s origin story, how his parents were murdered when he was very young. We know Peter Parker, who was bitten by a radioactive spider, and he loses his uncle. Shang-Chi’s story is very much unknown to most of the world, so we had a lot of freedom and creative liberty to make it the way that we wanted to.”