As Marvel continues to plot their future after the release of AVENGERS 4, it’s being reported by Deadline Hollywood that a film centering on the martial arts superhero Shang-Chi is being put on the fast-track with plans to build a franchise around the iconic character. Alongside the reveal, it’s also being said that Chinese-American scribe Dave Callaham (WONDER WOMAN 1984, ZOMBIELAND 2) will pen the screenplay. Furthermore, Marvel is already said to be in the process of considering a series of Asian and Asian-American directors for the high-end project. The endeavor is being eyed by Marvel as an opportunity to represent and welcome Asian heroes and characters into the tentpole film fold, much like Ryan Coogler‘s BLACK PANTHER helped elevate African and African-American characters to the comic book blockbuster forefront.
Shang-Chi first burst onto the comic book scene in December of 1973, as a part of Special Marvel Edition #15 by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin. Thankfully, Callaham’s goal is to update the character for modern times, avoiding several stereotypes often associated with the character’s early adventures. As the son of Fu Manchu, Shang-Chi was raised and educated while living at a remote compound in China. In time, Shang-Chi rose through the ranks of his community to become the most skilled pupil among his people. Upon leaving the sanctity of his ancestral home to do his father’s bidding, Shang-Chi discovers that his father Fu Manchu is not the man he has claimed to be. In fact, many refer to Fu Manchu as The Devil’s Doctor, a sinister villain who weilds the powers of hypnosis with his genius-level intellect and supreme martial arts acumen. In more recent times, Shang-Chi arrived as a character in Gail Simone and David Baldeon’s Domino comic series, in which he teaches an out-of-luck Neena how to get her groove back through the power of meditation and fisticuffs.
While several of Callaham’s more recent projects are still in the process of being made, that hasn’t stopped Hollywood execs from taking note of the writer’s shining star. After all, with projects the likes of WONDER WOMAN 1984, ZOMBIELAND 2 and SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE 2 under his belt, it should come as no surprise that Callaham is a talent to watch in 2019.
What do you think about Marvel bringing Shang-Chi to the big screen for a potential franchise? Are you excited for the studio to introduce new heroes to the MCU, by continuing to explore a more diverse cast of heroes and villains alike? Let us know in the comments section below.