‘Shang-Chi’ Director Talks Landing The Job & Cultural Significance

Shang-Chi Marvel Studios

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton spoke about landing the job with Marvel Studios and the film’s cultural significance for Asian audiences.

Cretton was in an interview with Collider’s Christina Radish discussing his new film Just Mercy and revealed the process in which he pitched his vision for Shang-Chi to Kevin Feige and how it ended up leading to Marvel Studios hiring him to direct the first Asian-led Marvel superhero film:

“Yeah, it’s terrifying. I didn’t think I was going to get it, so that helps you feel not as terrified. The process of pitching is like anything. You just go in and speak your heart, and speak what you feel is important, and what you would love to do. And if they respond to that, then that’s going to be a good relationship. If they don’t respond to it, you don’t get the job, and it’s probably good that you don’t get the job.”

Cretton revealed that Marvel Studios called him back in to confirm that he landed the job to direct Shang-Chi. He also praises the team at Marvel Studios as warm and welcoming to him joining the family and is eager to bring Shang-Chi to life.

Radish also asked Cretton about the cultural significance of having an Asian lead in a superhero film. Cretton then reflected on the importance of Asian representation in media and how his younger self would react now that he will be directing Shang-Chi: 

“It would have been amazing because I would have been able to have a superhero that looked like me, rather than choosing the superheroes that I could imagine looking like me, under the mask. I was really into Spider-Man, or even the Incredible Hulk, because they I could picture myself under the Spider-Man mask, or as The Hulk because, when he was The Hulk, he was not really specific to any ethnicity. So, it’ll be nice to give that kid somebody who he can at least say, “Oh, that one looks like me.”

Shang-Chi is one of Marvel’s numerous new films/TV series confirmed for the Phase 4 slate. Kevin Feige brought out Cretton and the film’s star Simu Liu onstage at Hall H in San Diego Comic-Con back in July to confirm the news.

Introduced in Special Marvel Edition #15 in December 1973, Shang-Chi is a skilled martial artist who was raised in an isolated compound located in China and trained by his father Fu Manchu, a Chinese crimelord and immortal sorcerer who repeatedly attempted to conquer the world. When Shang-Chi was finally allowed to venture into the outside world 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.

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 and Tony Leung.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be released in theaters on February 12, 2021.

Source: Collider

Noah Villaverde

Noah Villaverde

Cinema lover. Saxophone player. Coffee consumer. Chronic complainer. Oh, I also write. #TeamHeroic