With a real change of pace from it’s other super-hero fare, Marvel presents a martial arts spectacular. Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings.
Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings is a film that’s been a long time in the making. Development started as far back as 2001, though momentum wouldn’t begin to build until late 2018. Production began in earnest in early 2020, only to be halted by the Covid19 pandemic. Filming resumed in October and has been moving at pace since then.
Simu Liu stars as the titular character. Skilled in martial arts and trained as an assassin since childhood, Shang-Chi escapes the Ten Rings organisation. trying to live a normal life in San Francisco but never quite finding his place, Shang-Chi gets by with charisma and his good friend, Katy (Awkwafina).
But his past is not one easily left behind and his father, the Mandarin, is intent on bringing Shang-Chi back into the Ten Rings.
The film will not feature Shang-Chi’s comic book nemesis, Fu Manchu. Instead Marvel have chosen to replace the supervillain with the Mandarin, a character that has been teased in the MCU throughout the Iron Man series. Another pertinent reason for the exclusion of Fu Manchu is that Marvel don’t own the rights.
When Marvel’s ‘The Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kun Fu’ comic book series ended in 1983 the publishers chose not to renew the licensing rights, which reverted to the estate of Sax Rohmer, who created the character in 1913. Despite his work being of an age that moves it into the public domain, Marvel are still unable to use the name as the Rohmer estate shrewdly trademarked the name ‘Fu Manchu’.
‘Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings’ will be Marvel’s first film to feature an Asian lead. The film is due for a September 3rd release in the U.K. and U.S.