Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is already in the works – and following a coronavirus lockdown, it’s starting to come back to life starting with upcoming adventure movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, about a Chinese-American superhero (played by Simu Liu).
Chinese-American writer Dave Callaham (who recently worked on the script for Wonder Woman 1984 for rivals DC) has been lined up to pen the script, and Destin Daniel Cretton (best known for the Brie Larson-led Short Term 12) is on board to direct.
And it looks like work on the project is moving on track, with filming due to restart sooner than many anticipated…
Read on for everything else we know about the film so far, including plot details and casting.
When is Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings released in cinemas?
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be released on 8th May 2021.
It was originally headed for a 12th February 2021 release date, but has been moved due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis along with the whole of Marvel phase four.
However, there is now some good news – hot on the heels of Avatar production returning to New Zealand, it’s been revealed that Shang-Chi will soon get cameras rolling again in Australia at some point.
Star Simu Liu seemed to confirm the news on Twitter, with Deadline reporting that cast and crew will quarantine when they arrive in Australia (a country which has relatively few coronavirus cases) and take “careful steps” to avoid infection on set.
Then in June 2020 it was reported that filming was due to restart later that summer in August, according to Deadline.
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 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.
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.
Who’s in the cast of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings?
Aside from Simu Liu, it’s been announced that veteran actor Tony Leung will play supervillain The Mandarin, while rapper and YouTuber Awkwafina will play another unknown role.
Is there a trailer for Shang-Chi?
Not yet, but you’ll be the first to know when we spot one.
Why is the title Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and how does it connect to Iron Man?
Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man/Ton Stark in Avengers: Infinity War (Marvel, HF)
Intriguingly, the Ten Rings refer to a classic Iron Man villain called The Mandarin, who used ten 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 another Mandarin. 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…