After success with Fresh Off The Boat and “Crazy Rich Asians,” Asian representation is seeing an uptick. Next up? The first Marvel Asian superhero.
Marvel Studios is fast-tracking “Shang-Chi” to be the first tentpole franchise with an Asian hero as the title role. The script is being written by Chinese-American writer Dave Callaham and the studio is currently considering a number of Asian and Asian-American directors to take on the project.
Callaham already has multiple superhero-related projects under his belt, as a co-writer for the upcoming Wonder Woman sequel, helping with the script for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2, helping re-write Ant-Man and writing the first draft for the newest Godzilla reboot.
Deadline has reported that Marvel is following the same strategy that they used with Black Panther, tying in an all Asian and Asian American cast, blending Asian and Asian American themes. Additionally, Shang-Chi’s on’screen version will be modernized in order to avoid stereotypes, as the character’s debut occurred in 1973 when many minority characters were still defined by tropes.
According to Marvel’s website, Shang-Chi is the son of an internationally renowned and powerful criminal mastermind. After spending his entire life in isolation, training in rigorous mental and martial arts, his first mission as a teen was to assassinate his father’s enemy. He only knew that his father was a great humanitarian and savior of mankind, so he traveled from his home in Honan, China to Mayfair, London to commit the crime. This is when he was confronted by one of his father’s enemies, who told him the truth. When Shang-Chi realized his father was manipulating him the entire time, he declared himself his father’s mortal enemy and devoted his life to overthrowing his criminal empire.
You can check out a more detailed description from Marvel here, but otherwise, we’re definitely looking forward to this one.