With the release of the promising first trailer, Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has suddenly become one of the studio’s most anticipated projects.
Rising star Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience) plays the eponymous martial artist in the upcoming blockbuster, making him the first Asian actor to play the lead role in a Marvel film.
Shang-Chi is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy) and will see our hero attempt to leave his troubled past behind, only to be dragged back into the darkness by his villainous father.
After several delays, it appears that the film will finally see release later this year and the new trailer suggests it will be well worth the wait, with its blend of exciting locations, ambitious action and a wide array of new characters to meet.
Check out everything we know about Shang-Chi and the legend of the Ten Rings below.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings release date
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will now be released on 3rd September 2021. It was previously set for 9th July, having originally been rescheduled from 8th May.
It is one of many changes to the recently commenced Marvel phase four with Black Widow now releasing (in cinemas and on Disney+ Premier Access) on 9th July – the date previously held for Shang-Chi – and Spider-Man: No Way Home coming on 17th December, 2021.
An official trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was released in April 2021, showing off Liu’s exciting action scenes (and plenty of character backstory) in what looks to be a battle-packed entry in the MCU.
Check out the full trailer above.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings cast
Simu Liu will play the title role of Shang-Chi, who has previously been known in the comic books as the Master of Kung Fu, an expert martial artist trying to escape his past.
That’s no easy task when your father is the formidable Wenwu, better known by his super villain pseudonym The Mandarin, who is set to be played by veteran actor Tony Leung, one of Asia’s brightest stars.
Meanwhile, comedy star Awkwafina (Nora From Queens) will play Shang-Chi’s friend Katy, Michelle Yeoh (Star Trek: Discovery) will play Jiang Nan and heavyweight boxer Florian Munteanu also stars as comic-book villain Razor Fist.
In April 2021, it was reported by Deadline that Dallas Liu (Pen15) had joined the cast of the film in an undisclosed role, joining Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang and Ronny Chieng in the supporting cast.
Who is Shang-Chi?
Shang-Chi is a Chinese superhero who first appeared in a Special Marvel Edition comic in 1973.
In the comics, he is a Chinese-American, born in the Honan province in China, who was trained in martial arts from infancy by his father Fu Manchu (who would later turn out to be evil). He often teams up with fellow martial artist Iron Fist, though following the botched Netflix version of the character played by Finn Jones, it seems unlikely Danny Rand/Iron Fist will make the crossover to the big screen now.
Based on the trailer, in this version of the story Shang-Chi’s baddie dad will be classic Iron Man villain The Mandarin (Tony Leung), a previous version of whom appeared in Iron Man 3 (see below). It seems the story will reimagine Shang-Chi as a man trained from childhood to be an assassin, but who declines to join his father’s criminal empire as an adult.
Who will play Shang-Chi?
Canadian actor Simu Liu will star as the Master of Kung Fu in the upcoming film.
Liu was one of several actors in the running for the movie including Power Rangers’ Ludi Lin, and was reportedly confirmed for the role just days before his official unveiling at San Diego Comic-Con.
Liu had previously lobbied for the role on Twitter, a fact he shared once his casting had been confirmed.
Thanks for getting back to me https://t.co/FFRuM03p20— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) July 21, 2019
Why is the title Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and how does it connect to Iron Man?
Intriguingly, the Ten Rings refer to a classic Iron Man villain called The Mandarin, who used 10 mystical rings to give himself immense magical power and who faced off with Tony Stark many times over the years.
In the very first Iron Man movie the Ten Rings were introduced as a terrorist organisation who abducted Robert Downy Jr’s Stark to build them missiles, while a new version of the Mandarin – portrayed as an actor called Trevor pretending to be a terrorist as a cover for behind-the-scenes forces – was the main villain in Iron Man 3.
At that time the “real” Mandarin was revealed to be Guy Pearce’s super-powered Aldrich Killian, but a special short film called All Hail the King on the Iron Man 3 DVD hinted that there was yet another version of the character.
In the 15-minute short, Ben Kingsley’s fake terrorist actor Trevor was broken out of prison by the Ten Rings terrorist group, with the intention of taking him to meet the one true Mandarin. Apparently, he wasn’t too happy by Trevor co-opting his name.
And now with the Mandarin confirmed as the Shang-Chi film’s villain, it’s more than possible that we could see some more references to the Iron Man movies, or even a return for Trevor. Trust a movie all about rings to bring everything full circle.