Deadline reports that Marvel Studios is fast-tracking an adaptation of the Shang-Chi comics character for a feature film franchise, which will mark the studio's first Asian protagonist. It's rumored that Marvel has hired Chinese-American screenwriter Dave Callaham to write the script, and it appears the company very much wants a director of Asian descent to helm the film. They are looking to do something similar for Asian audiences that Black Panther did for African and African-American culture with its almost all-black cast, black director (Ryan Coogler) and black writer (Joe Robert Cole).
Indeed, not only is Black Panther one of Marvel Studios' most successful films thus far, it's by far their most critically acclaimed. Callaham has had a hand in co-writing Wonder Woman 1984, and he's now at work on a sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Callaham is also the creator of The Expendables, and he is slated to script the sequel to Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
In the comics, Shang-Chi was raised in a secret compound to become "the master of Kung-Fu.".After becoming an agent for his father, Shang-Chi eventually realized that he was serving an evil master and turned against him. In 1972, white Marvel staffers Steve Englehart (writer) and Jim Starlin (artist) were tasked with making an original series that tapped into the popularity of martial arts action films-and would make up for Marvel's failure to get the comic rights to the TV series Kung-Fu.
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Initially an unparalleled master of all forms of martial arts, Shang-Chi later gained the power to make duplicates of himself and has interacted over the years with the Avengers, the X-Men, Daughters of the Dragon, Spider-Man, the Thing, Iron Fist, and many others. With the right director and cast, Marvel could do something very special with a Shang-Chi story. While we're waiting on those to roll in: who would you like to see play Shang-Chi?
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