Last year, in December, news broke that Marvel had made the decision to fast-track the first Asian superhero film, Shang-Chi. “Fast-track” appears to be the appropriate word, as the comic giant owned by Disney, has already named a director for the groundbreaking project, Destin Daniel Cretton.
Cretton may not be a household name, but he is well-known amongst Marvel Studios and a couple of actors under their banner. In 2013, he directed the indie film, Short Term 12 with Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) starring. Then, in 2017, Cretton and Larson reunited for The Glass Castle, and now he’s currently working with Larson again, this time opposite Black Panther‘s Michael B. Jordan in Just Mercy, based on the memoir of Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson.
Marvel Studios chose Cretton to helm the Shang-Chi project over the likes of Dear White People‘s Justin Tipping, Master of Young/Tigertail‘s Alan Yang, and Deborah Chow of Reign, Jessica Jones and the upcoming Star Wars Disney+ series The Mandalorian.
In the comics, Shang-Chi was introduced in the 70s as a half-Chinese, half American superhero that was trained as a martial artist assassin by his villainous father, but later became a hero after rebelling against his father’s ways. Wonder Woman 1984 screenwriter, Dave Callaham, is currently writing the film, and updating the hero for modern times.
When the film was first announced, Disney made it clear that they had every intention of putting together an all-Asian cast and that mission hasn’t changed. It’s said that they are still full-steam ahead with that decision and it’s an appropriate one. The story of Shang-Chi should be represented by a cast of mostly Asian and Asian-American actors, much like the story of Black Panther was represented by a mostly African American cast.
As details for Shang-Chi emerge, we’ll have it here on Cinelinx.