While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been away for longer than fans expected due to the coronavirus pandemic, the blockbuster franchise is planning an epic return.
Marvel Studios currently have wrapped filming on no less than three upcoming Marvel movies, with 2021’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings among the most anticipated.
The movie will introduce one of the company’s best known Asian superheroes to movie-goers: the martial arts expert Shang-Chi, frequently referred to as the Master of Kung Fu.
Production on the film hit a bump earlier this year when the coronavirus began spreading around the world, prompting an extended hiatus to keep the cast and crew safe.
However, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has now completed principal photography, putting it on track to a global release next summer.
Star Simu Liu said in an Instagram post: “Our crew came to get it DONE! This shoot was a marathon like no other, broken up by a massive four-month hiatus during which the world completely and irrevocably changed.
“We finally returned to principal photography in July with a promise that we were going to do it right, emphasising the health and safety of our hundreds of crew members.
“Through the 13-odd weeks back we made on-set safety an absolute priority, starting from masks and frequent sanitisation to rapid testing and pod systems. Everyone sacrificed, and in the end? Over 40,000 COVID tests without a SINGLE positive.
“From the lights to the sound, behind the screen and in front, I’m so proud of this crew of people and I can’t wait to show you what we made with [director] Destin Daniel Cretton.”
Read on for all your essential information on Marvel’s Shang-Chi.
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 9th July 2021, having recently been rescheduled from 8th May.
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 was revealed that Shang-Chi would soon get cameras rolling again in Australia.
*stares at camera*
… it’s personal. ????https://t.co/9z4npMsSgN
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) July 2, 2020
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.
Thanks for getting back to me https://t.co/FFRuM03p20
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) July 21, 2019
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 actress Awkwafina will play another undisclosed 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?
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 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.