Destin Daniel Cretton, the director of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, is hoping for his film to connect with audiences with Asian heritage what Black Panther did for audiences with African heritage.
While Shang-Chi as a franchise did not represent its hero or Asian characters in a negative light, the property came from an age where diverse characters in comics had some basis in stereotypes even with the best of intentions. So, naturally, Destin Daniel Cretton has a golden opportunity to right those wrongs as many audiences will be introduced to Shang-Chi for the very first time.
While speaking to Observer, Destin Daniel Cretton noted that the film was incredibly important to him because it allows him to cast a lot of Asian actors, and portray Asian culture in a way that’s more respectful than past Hollywood efforts:
“It’s really exciting to me to be able to fill a movie like that with a bunch of Asian faces and be able to see of sides of these character than what we have seen before. Growing up, I didn’t have a super hero that looked like me and it’s really exciting to give a new generation something I did not have. I couldn’t be more excited.”
One of the worst offenders of not aging well was the villain Fu Manchu, a character who has long been associated with the bigotry of early 20th century social perspectives, and is Shang-Chi’s father in Marvel Comics. It’s been confirmed that the central antagonist of the film will be the Iron Man villain the Mandarin, who fans speculate may replace Fu Manchu as Shang-Chi’s father in this continuity. The Mandarin was alluded to throughout the Iron Man trilogy, but he was impersonated by Ben Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery, who he later sent one of his followers to capture alive after the washed-up actor was arrested for his role in the Extremis plot.
While the Mandarin was associated with some of the same stereotypes as Fu Manchu (albeit not to the same level), the character has been modernized in order to not be deemed insensitive. The character in the movie will likely reflect the modernized version of the character, as a villain who adapts to the ever-changing modern world rather than reflecting old stereotypes. Destin Daniel Cretton has noted that he’s particularly excited to work with the character and the actor playing him, Chinese superstar Tony Leung, who he says will bring an interesting take to the villain:
“I think [Leung] brings a humanity that we need for that character. We are not looking to contribute anymore to the Asian stereotypes that we have seen both in cinema and pop culture. We’re hoping to just show some different sides to both Asian-Americans and Chinese-Americans and Mainland Chinese characters. [Leung] is such an incredible actor and I’m excited to have him help us break some of those stereotypes because that villain could easily become a punchline.”
Shang-Chi is an interesting character to focus on the post-Avengers: Endgame landscape, and reflects Hollywood capitalizing on the Chinese box office. Hopefully, the movie succeeds and inspires more efforst like it.
In the comics, Shang-Chi is a skilled martial artist who was raised and trained by his father, who he soon learns is a Chinese crime lord and immortal sorcerer who repeatedly attempted to conquer the world, in an isolated compound located in China. When Shang-Chi was finally allowed to venture into the outside world in order to do his father’s bidding, he learned about his father’s evil ways and faked his own death before embarking on a mission to take down Fu Manchu’s criminal empire.
Introduced in Special Marvel Edition #15 in December 197, Shang-Chi will reportedly modernize the source material in order to avoid the character stereotypes of the time. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the film will star Simu Liu, Awkwafina and Tony Leung.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opens in theaters on February 12, 2021.
Titans: New Photos Of Jason Todd In Robin Suit
DC Universe has released new Titans photos of Curran Walters as Jason Todd in the classic Robin suit.
The upcoming episode of Titans will introduce Jason Todd (played by Curran Walters) to the DC Universe world and new photos offer fans a glimpse at his meeting with the titular team, including his Robin predecessor Dick Grayson. Additional photos reveal the team working together as they prepare to take on the nuclear family.
You can check out the first Titans photo below and click "Next" to continue the gallery!
What do you think of the photos? Are you excited to see Jason Todd make his debut on Titans? Let us know in the comments section!
Here's the official synopsis for DC Universe's Titans series:
Titans follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find belonging in a gritty take on the classic Teen Titans franchise. Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth, a special young girl possessed by a strange darkness, get embroiled in a conspiracy that could bring Hell on Earth. Joining them along the way are the hot-headed Starfire and loveable Beast Boy. Together they become a surrogate family and team of heroes.
The series stars Brenton Thwaites as Richard “Dick” Grayson / Robin, Anna Diop as Koriand’r / Starfire, Teagan Croft as Rachel Roth / Raven, and Ryan Potter as Garfield “Gar” Logan / Beast Boy.
Titans debuts new episodes on Fridays on DC Universe. Stay tuned for the latest news regarding the DC Universe series and make sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood's YouTube channel for more content.