2012’s megahit, The Avengers, almost included Shang-Chi or The Mandarin into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a post-credits scene.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is now the biggest movie franchise of all time but its success was not always a guarantee. In order to get The Avengers made, Marvel had to team up with all kinds of production groups not only to get the film financed but also into other markets like China. One such group was the Chinese based DMG Entertainment Motion Picture Group and the people behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe made a few interesting suggestions to make such a partnership work.
In a new book titled, Feeding the Dragon, former DMG president Chris Fenton revealed that, at one point, Marvel pitched a few interesting post-credit scenes in order to get The Avengers made and to make it more appealing in China. These characters, as it turned out, were Shang-Chi and The Mandarin:
“They did offer us the opportunity to create a teaser at the end of Avengers for the China market. That would give us a chance to tease a potential character, either The Mandarin or Shang-Chi. It’s our decision as to which.”
Fenton went on to reveal why The Mandarin was a bad choice and shed some light on why Marvel opted not to include Shang-Chi in The Avengers:
“The development team in Beijing felt Shang-Chi was the safer role to promote since he was a “good guy” and a hero, while The Mandarin was clearly a nemesis to Iron Man. Strictly thinking about how the “Ministry of Propaganda,” which reports directly to the Politburo, would view it, you always wanted the Chinese character to be a good guy or a hero, not a villain. Remember to them, China is good, and the West is bad. The Politburo wanted white-knight messaging. The country was spreading its wings globally, and it wanted to be viewed as a friend to the world, not an agitator or adversary encroaching on long-established borders through an Imperialistic strategy. But American hubris, and often ignorance, commonly led to studios putting the Chinese in an antagonist role. Additionally, Hollywood didn’t want to waste the part of a hero on a Chinese actor. But a villain role? No big deal. And simply putting Chinese people in a film was mistakenly thought of as the guaranteed price for admission to China’s lucrative market. So, studios did it.”
The Mandarin would go on to make an appearance in Iron Man 3, albeit in a different capacity than his comic book counterpart. Shang-Chi is getting his own film in the form of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings which is also said to feature The Mandarin. But, once upon a time, the two characters were almost introduced in The Avengers.
What do you all make of this story? Are you surprised to hear that The Avengers almost introduced The Mandarin and Shang-Chi? Would you have like to have seen either of these characters in a post-credit scene in the film? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton from a script written by David Callaham, Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings stars Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Leung, and Ronny Chieng. The film is currently scheduled to hit theaters on May 7, 2021.
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Source: Bleeding Cool