Simu Liu is set to make history this year as the first Asian-American hero to grace the Marvel Cinematic Universe as he takes on the title role in Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. and during an interview with NBC News, the actor has revealed how Marvel had no qualms when it came to updating the source material and removing some of the more controversial and stereotypical aspects of the character as originally created in the 1970s.
“We knew that we were potentially navigating a minefield, especially when looking at this property that was created by two white men in the 1970s at the height of the kung fu craze,” said Liu. “We have not shied away from ripping out whatever doesn’t work in 2019, 2020, 2021.”
“From the moment that Marvel Studios decided that there needed to be a voice for Asian characters and a lead Asian character in the space of the [Marvel Cinematic Universe], they have all kind of considered what the best way was to incorporate a story that both celebrates Asianness and all of its wonderful dimensions, and its facets and its nuances, and also celebrates martial arts.”
It’s already been established in the trailer that the movie will update Shang-Chi’s origin, making him the son of Tony Leung’s Wenwu (a.k.a. The Mandarin) as opposed to British author Sax Rohmer’s controversial supervillain Fu Manchu. And, according to the NBC article, the previously rumoured Fin Fang Foom is also among the most questionable aspects that hasn’t made the jump to the big screen, which spells bad news for any fans hoping to see the MCU debut of the dragon-like shape-shifting alien villain.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy) and stars Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience) as Shang-Chi, Tony Leung (Infernal Affairs) as Wenwu, Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) as Katy, newcomer Meng’er Zhang as Xialing, Michelle Yeoh (Star Trek: Discovery) as Jiang Nan, Ronny Chieng (Crazy Rich Asians) as Jon Jon, Fala Chen (The Undoing) as Jiang Li, Florian Munteanu (Creed II) as Razor Fist and Dallas Liu (Pen15) in an undisclosed role.