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Daily Drip

Marvel’s Chinese Superhero Movie “Shang-Chi” Now Has a Director

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Late last year, Marvel announced plans to fast track production of its first superhero film to be led by an Asian character, specifically “master of kung fu” and son of Fu Manchu, Shang-Chi. Now, according to Hollywood Reporter, the film has a director attached: Destin Daniel Cretton.

Chinese Character Shang-Chi to Head Up Marvel’s First Asian-Led Superhero Movie

Cretton is perhaps best known for his break out 2013 Brie Larson-starring flick Short Term 12. He again worked with Larson, who is currently in Chinese cinemas courtesy of Captain Marvel, on 2017’s The Glass Castle and is currently working with Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan on civil rights drama Just Mercy.

According to Hollywood Reporter,

“Other filmmakers who were in the running to helm Shang-Chi included Dear White People‘s Justin Tipping; Master of Young‘s Alan Yang, who is behind the upcoming John Cho movie Tigertail; and Deborah Chow, whose credits include episodes of ReignJessica Jones and the upcoming Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian.”

With the film set to feature a majority Asian-American and Asian cast, some are already tipping Shang-Chi to be Marvel’s “next Black Panther” in terms of diversification and representation, while others worry it’ll only “perpetuate outdated martial arts myths“.

A movie revolving around the character Shang-Chi was first mooted in 2001, but despite reported links with Ang Lee, the project stalled until December 2018 when, in the wake of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians‘ box office successes, Marvel decided to fast-track production for the film.

Jake Newby
Jake Newby is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with more than a decade's experience living and working in China. Previously managing editor of Time Out Shanghai, he's also written for publications such as South China Morning Post and the Financial Times.