Shang-Chi, Marvel’s first Asian superhero movie, is coming in September

In 2020 I missed going to the cinema to watch Marvel movies. None of the scheduled Marvel movies were released last year so I had to settle for rewatching some of my favorites on Disney+. Getting WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has sort of-made up for my Marvel-less year but it’s not quite the same.

I have been enjoying the fact that Marvel has been diversifying by adding BIPOC and women superheroes. Marvel gave us Black Panther and Captain Marvel the last three years. We are finally getting Marvel’s first Asian superhero movie in September. When Marvel announced in 2019 that they would be making Shang-Chi and that Simu Liu would be leading the cast, none of us expected the significance of the timing of the release. After spending a year and half battling COVID and Anti-Asian hate, an Asian superhero movie is what we all need right now. Monday, Marvel released the first trailer for Shang-Chi and Marvel fans are stoked. Below is more on the trailer (I also embedded it below) and a bit of background on Shang-Chi from Entertainment Weekly:

“When that announcement came out, I just went instantly back to my childhood,” [director Destin Daniel Cretton] explains. “[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.”

Cretton — who was born in Hawaii and is of Japanese descent — kept thinking about how his younger self would’ve reacted to a superhero movie with a predominantly Asian cast. So, he set a meeting with Marvel. “That’s usually not the way director meetings start, by saying, ‘You know, I was never interested in doing one of these,'” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says with a laugh. That Marvel meeting turned into another, then another, until before long, Cretton was standing in front of thousands of fans at 2019’s San Diego Comic-Con, introducing the world to the kind of hero his childhood self had only dreamed of.

He may not be a household name yet like his fellow heroes Iron Man or Captain America, but the idea of making a Shang-Chi movie is older than the Marvel Cinematic Universe itself. Created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin, the kung fu master made his comics debut in 1973 as a way for Marvel to capitalize on martial arts stories’ popularity with American audiences. Stan Lee reportedly tried to develop a Shang-Chi film starring Brandon Lee as early as the 1980s, but the project never materialized. In the early 2000s, the then-nascent Marvel Studios started to assemble a notebook of comic characters who could potentially headline their own films — a notebook that included Shang-Chi.

“The core of Shang-Chi’s arc in the comics is really a family drama,” says producer Jonathan Schwartz. “That was something that Destin keyed into really early on in our conversations, the idea of taking this broken family and this really dark, even abusive family background and seeing what that does to a child over time.”

Bringing Shang-Chi into the MCU also meant updating some of his dated origins. The character’s comic backstory has shifted through the years, and Cretton and writer Dave Callaham were eager to dispense with some of the early issues’ racially insensitive cliches.

“When you look at the character of Shang-Chi through the comic books going back to the ’70s and ’80s, the fact that he existed and the fact that he was an Asian character was amazing,” Liu says. “But at the same time, there are aspects of that portrayal of him that maybe could feel a little stereotypical. So when we first started to map out who this character was and what his journey was going to be over the course of this film, we were all very sensitive to not have it go into stereotypical territory.”

[From EW]

I am so excited for this Marvel movie, you have no idea. I do not know the origin story of Shang-Chi and I don’t remember the actual comic but the trailer has me hooked. Plus I am excited to see all people represented in these hero movies and not just as villains. Now all we need are South Asian, Latinx, Pacific Island and Native American super hero movies and we will be straight. I will definitely go watch several of the reaction videos on YouTube to get more information on Shang-Chi before the movie is released in September. Hopefully we will have COVID under control world wide and mostly everyone will be vaccinated so we can all enjoy the show. I am also excited about seeing Michelle Yeoh in this film. I feel like it has been forever since the last time I saw her in a movie. I know she’s going to bring it. I also like that Cretton removed some of the dated and racially insensitive narratives from the original comics. It is time for the world to move forward while understanding the way we did things in the past is no longer acceptable. I hope that movies like Shang-Chi are not one offs for Marvel. I am sure, like Black Panther and Captain Marvel, that Shang Chi will already have a sequel lined up in the next few Marvel phase roll outs. In the mean time, I am going to go back to watch the trailer. Not only are the fighting sequences brilliant, Simu Liu is hot and I am here for it.

The Trailer:

Embed from Getty Images

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38 Responses to “Shang-Chi, Marvel’s first Asian superhero movie, is coming in September”

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  1. Miss M says:

    Ahh! Simu is so hot! That’s all I’ve got. Loved him on Kim’s too.

  2. Lightpurple says:

    Nice to see Michelle Yeoh getting another Marvel role. I thought her Ravagers cameo in Guardians was really cool and hoped they would develop it further.

  3. OriginalLala says:

    Go Simu!! I’m Canadian and we’ve had a collective crush on him for years now, so happy to see him taking on this huge role!

  4. Snuffles says:

    Looks dope. I’m still Marvel’s bitch. Anyone know if it will only be in theaters or will it be released simultaneously on Disney Plus.

    • Becks1 says:

      My guess is they are going to start moving away from the premier access on Disney Plus as more movie theaters open back up, but that’s just a guess.

    • Sofia says:

      I think they’ve said only in theatres and hopefully by September, vaccinated countries will be on their way towards herd immunity ao cinemas/theatres will be open.

      Plus Marvel apparently didn’t even want to do Disney Plus access for Black Widow so if they can avoid it fully, they will.

    • Christine says:

      I second Sofia.

      I know Florence Pugh is supposed to be featured in an upcoming Disney+ show so I’m thinking they just needed to get Black Widow out sooner than later and this is the only way Disney was going to let it happen.

  5. Sigmund says:

    I am so excited for this movie. I know next to nothing about this hero, but the teaser trailer looked amazing. Also Simu is 🔥.

  6. Sofia says:

    I am very excited! I will admit, I know nothing about the character in the comics but I am interested to see how Marvel tells his story. Plus the choreography of the fight scenes look fantastic.

  7. Lemons says:

    Oh my gosh, I am so here for this. I might even go to the movie theatres for this.

  8. Aang says:

    Not a Marvel fan at all but I’ll will give this one a try. I loved Simu in Kim’s Convenience.

  9. Ang says:

    Jung! So happy for him!

  10. Wendy says:

    Highly recommend Kim’s Convenience too – great series and 5 seasons to watch if you haven’t discovered it yet

  11. MellyMel says:

    This looks so good!

  12. Léna says:

    I liked the trailer! Can’t wait

  13. Mei says:

    Very excited for this!! I similarly have no idea about this character or their backstory but some of the sequences look incredible and always here for some Michelle Yeoh and Awkwafina too. Woop woop!

  14. Katie says:

    This looks really good. This is the third movie on my list that I want to see in theaters this year, fingers crossed I can get my vaccination by then cause I won’t go otherwise.

  15. Tiffany says:

    I’m ready.

    Tony Leung is in this. I am SO ready.

    He should have had the Jackie Chan career here in America.

  16. Jerusha says:

    I adore Tony Leung. So glad he’s a part of this.

  17. Darla says:

    I strongly dislike Awkwafina, but I don’t like Renner either and I still love the Avenger films. I’ll deal with it. Other than her, this looks fantastic.

  18. Dayna says:

    Dwayne Johnson is currently filming Black Adam for Marvel, so soon there will be Pacific Islander on the slate.

  19. Anna says:

    From my best friend, who is Korean:
    “Asian parents watching their son become a superhero: ‘still not a doctor or lawyer though…'”

  20. Case says:

    I’m really looking forward to this! I hope they change their stance on “only in theaters” though. With ventilation being such a huge issue in the spread of COVID, you won’t catch me in a movie theater in 2021. I’ll happily pay the $30 on Disney+ to support it, though!

  21. FancyHat says:

    The trailer looks amazing. Glad to see Marvel continuing to diversify though Latinos are being ignored as usual by Hollywood.

  22. CommentingBunny says:

    I read that Simu started as a stunt guy so he’ll be doing a lot of the action sequences himself instead of using a double. I thought that was pretty cool!

    I loved him on Kim’s Convenience. He can do comedy and drama and action. The movie has a vibe like the king fu movies my family used to watch when I was young. Add in those shirtless shots and I can’t even say how here I am for this movie.

  23. Mia says:

    I’m so excited this looks so fun. I’m east Asian and I’m like lol of course our guys does the best kicks and flips 😂

    I hope we get some kickass South Asian + Indian characters too. Marvel has a lot of apologizing to do for that horrible Indian cab driver character in Deadpool. Bro drops everything to help the white main character 🙄

    • Sigmund says:

      Tbf, the Deadpool movie wasn’t a part of Marvel at that point. Like it was their comic book character, but Fox owned the film rights, and Marvel had no say until Disney bought Fox.

      But I do agree that it’s high time to get much better representation in superhero films, especially Asian representation.

  24. Bean says:

    Oh. HELL YEAH!!!!

  25. Nic B says:

    I LOVE the show Kim’s Convenience and I’m really excited to see one of the main character’s have something so huge being made!

  26. The Recluse says:

    I am really hoping that we get to see it in our local theater – please re-open when possible! – with a monster tub of popcorn and a medium soda. I want to have my theater experience again.