Marvel Studios is making its first foray into the world of kung fu with the debut of its new film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. This movie will mark the debut of Shang-Chi in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it hopes to be a departure from other hero origin stories we’ve seen in the past. Yes, the film will set up Simu Liu‘s character as a superhero, but it’s rooted in martial arts films from over the years.
This week, Empire released a new photo from Shang-Chi, showing off yet another look at the titular hero. The publication also spoke with director Destin Daniel Cretton, who explained that the movie was inspired by films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, as well as the works of the legendary Jackie Chan. You can check out the photo of Liu below, followed by some words from Shang-Chi‘s director.
“Authenticity and respect and staying true to this genre was the main objective from day one,” Cretton told Empire. “There’s choreography that’s reminiscent of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and other fight scenes are inspired by Jackie Chan. We also had choreographers from mainland China who created some beautiful wuxia-style fight scenes.”
Cretton went on to say that it was important to frame the Shang-Chi character as a superhero, rather than just a really skilled martial artist. The goal is to make him a superhero that can realistically stand toe-to-toe with the rest of the Avengers characters in the MCU.
“It was important for us from the beginning to have the MCU’s first Asian-American superhero be a superhero,” the director added. “We want him to be on par with other superheroes in the MCU and not just be the master of kung fu. Shang-Chi is an incredible martial artist, but he’s so much more than that.”
So, rather than be on the same power level as someone like Hawkeye, Shang-Chi will be able to keep up with the likes of super soldiers and beings from other planets. He’s going to be an incredibly powerful character and it will be exciting to watch him take his place alongside the rest of the Avengers.
Are you excited for the arrival of Shang-Chi? Let us know in the comments!
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will arrive in theaters on September 3rd.