Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy) was recently announced by trades as the director of Marvel’s upcoming Shang-Chi solo movie penned by Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984, The Expendables), that would feature one of the first Asian comic book superheroes to lead a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’re beyond excited about the prospect since Marvel has been trying to get a movie together since 2001 when Blade director Stephen Norrington attempted to develop a feature film.
Shang-Chi is a martial arts spy character that certainly fits the MCU and could be a fantastic addition to their lineup of films.
There are some expectations that the film could land more in the action/spy genre given the character’s links to MI6 and other spy organizations. It would be interesting to see the film take more of action comedy tone that we’ve seen with the Jackie Chan movies such as Police Story 3 aka Supercop. Along with taking nods from John Woo’s Hard Boiled and Jet Li’s Kiss of The Dragon.
When it comes to the action design I really hope Marvel Studios reaches out to 87Eleven Action Design who worked on the John Wick films along with considering to add The Raid 1-2 actors Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, and Cecep Arif Rahman to the cast. The trio has previously worked for Disney with their cameos in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Kanjiklub. If they’re taking the martial arts stuff seriously, they’re gonna need to put together a team that is a little more elevated than what they’ve done with past Marvel movies.
One nifty location that Marvel Studios can now use because of the merger with Fox is Madirpoor, a fictional Southeast Asian island that is run/operated by various villainous figures in the Marvel Comics including Ophelia Sarkissian aka Viper/Madame Hydra that first appeared in the X-Men comics.
It could make for a decent place for a villain to make their homestead rather than using a real country.
The locale is also a perfect place to add a cameo or nod to Wolverine since, in his own solo comic books, Logan spent plenty of time in Madripoor even taking on the persona of Patch.
Elizabeth Braddock aka Psylocke could also be an excellent candidate to have a crossover role in the film given that she was also connected to MI6. Sadly, Psylocke wasn’t really given much to do in X-Men: Apocalypse and will be getting a reboot now that she is heading to the MCU.
Some villains that could be interesting include the real Mandarin/Ten Rings (potentially replacing Fu Machu), Shen Kuei aka The Cat, Fah Lo Suee aka Cursed Lotus (daughter of Fu Manchu), Anthony Masters aka Taskmaster, The Serpent Society, Paladin, Carlton Velcro, Pavane, and Grigori Sovchencko aka Ghost Maker.
If the rumblings are true and Marvel is indeed fast-tracking the project we should be hearing some details in the very near future. D23 Expo 2019 is taking place in August and it might be where we start hearing official future plans for Marvel Studios releases from Kevin Feige, if not sooner at San Diego Comic-Con.