Marvel’s “Shang-Chi” will be a new installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Destin Daniel Cretton, director of the terrific “Short Term 12,” has been placed in the director’s chair. In addition to having their first Asian director, Marvel will have its first Asian lead.
In the comics, Shang-Chi is known as the “Master of Kung-Fu.” His powers include Chinese martial arts and weaponry, as well as creating duplicates of himself. There is much potential here, both visuals and storytelling.
Another opportunity for diversity in blockbusters is always an exciting prospect. The fact that Destin Daniel Cretton is directing is just icing on the cake. His previous film, “The Glass Castle,” featured stellar work from Brie Larson who just set the world on fire in “Captain Marvel.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dave Callaham is writing the script. He recently wrote the screenplay for “Wonder Woman 1984.” Marvel is also planning to feature an ensemble cast of Asian-Americans.
“Shang-Chi” will join the franchise as the studio closes the books on previous characters with “Avengers: Endgame.” Save for “Spider-Man: Far From Home, they have not announced any new feature films beyond that. However, we do know that a “Black Widow” movie starring Scarlett Johansson is in the works. In addition, there will be a sequel to “Black Panther” and “Doctor Strange.”
Here’s to hoping Cretton can capture another type of lighting in a bottle that Ryan Coogler found with “Black Panther.” Marvel has a knack for choosing interesting directors, particularly from the independent film crowd. It’s impossible to tell just how the giant conglomerate will adjust after their final “Avengers” movie, but this looks like a step in the right direction.