Representation Matters and that has been shown more and more this year in both television and film. This has become more noticeable with the representation in superhero films. With Black Panther, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Captain Marvel, the upcoming Black Widow film and the in development no film. Now you can add another one to the list. Marvel Is developing a script for its first Asian Superhero in Shang-Chi.
It is being reported by Deadline that Marvel Studios is fast-tracking Shang-Chi to be its first superhero movie tentpole franchise with an Asian protagonist. Marvel has set Chinese-American scribe Dave Callaham to write the screenplay, and Deadline is hearing Marvel is already looking at a number of Asian and Asian-American directors who want to do something as potentially monumental as was accomplished in Marvel’s first viable Best Picture candidate, Black Panther.
Black Panther was a critucal and cultural success given it connected into African and African American cultures and the sensibilities of its nearly all-black cast, with a black director in Ryan Coogler and writer in Joe Robert Cole. Marvel wants to do the same with Shang-Chi: introduce a new hero who blends Asian and Asian American themes, crafted by Asian and Asian American filmmakers.
Shang-Chi first appeared in Special Marvel Edition #15 in December 1973, hatched by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin. The script will modernize the hero to avoid stereotypes that many comic characters of that era were saddled with. The comic launched around the time that Enter the Dragon became a global sensation and martial arts films raged. In the comics, Shang-Chi is the son of Fu Manchu, who raised and educated his progeny in his reclusive China compound, closed off to the outside world. The son trained in the martial arts and developed unsurpassed skills. He is eventually introduced to the outside world to do his father’s bidding, and then has to come to grips with the fact his revered father Fu Manchu might not be the humanitarian he has claimed to be and is closer to what others call him: The Devil’s Doctor.