Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Trailer

The first trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a two-minute and five-second joyride that begins with the titular character’s daily routine, involving shirtless pushups, going through the motions at his valet gig, and enjoying karaoke with his friend Katy, played by Awkwafina. With narration from his father heard in the background, vignettes of Shang-Chi’s childhood coincide with images of Shang-Chi’s present, as he decides to venture away from his Fu Manchu’s side to take on the bad guys by himself.

In 2019, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed during a press event for Avengers: Endgame that a full-length movie about Marvel Comics’ first Asian superhero, Shang-Chi, was in the works. The bombshell news was supported later that same year when Marvel made its public announcement about the forthcoming film at San Diego Comic-Con along with the movie’s director, Destin Daniel Cretton, and leading man, Simu Liu.

Now, the Master of Kung Fu’s big-screen debut is officially slated to happen this fall in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. For the uninitiated, here’s a rundown of who Shang-Chi is, the plot of the upcoming history-making feature, and who else will join the cast.

Shang-Chi release date: When is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings released?

Photo: Marvel Studio
Photo: Marvel Studio

Originally, the movie was set to land on February 12, 2021, before being pushed back to May 7, 2021 after Black Widow was delayed from May 2020.

But since then, Black Widow has had to be shifted again and therefore the rest of Marvel's Phase 4 movies have had to move as a result. So Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will now be released on July 9, 2021 in the UK and US.

It's not all bad though as it's leapfrogged Eternals in the schedule, so now it'll be the second movie released of Phase 4.

The movie had started filming in February 2020 before production was first affected by Cretton self-isolating as a precaution, and then halted altogether in mid-March as Disney shut down production on all of its movies.

Filming was said to have restarted in early August in Australia and at least leading star Simu Liu kept himself busy during lockdown.

The Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Plot

Photo: Marvel
Photo: Marvel

Shang-Chi made his debut appearance within the pages of Special Marvel Edition #15 in 1973. In the comics, the martial arts prodigy is groomed from childhood by his villainous father, Fu Manchu, to become an assassin. However, after realizing his father’s evil plans, Shang-Chi decides to use his martial skills to take down Fu and his gang of evildoers before retiring for a while. Shang-Chi joins forces with several of his fellow superhero peers in the Marvel comicverse, including Spider-Man (as his martial arts trainer) and the Avengers.

Judging from the movie’s teaser trailer that dropped on April 19, 2021, Cretton’s Shang-Chi appears to have incorporated the crime fighter’s basic origin tale from the Marvel comics. The Just Mercy director and co-writer told The Hollywood Reporter in 2020 that one of the major themes present in all of his films is that of the family – “whether a literal family or a family created of circumstance.” And it certainly seems that message is present in Shang-Chi, especially when it comes to Shang-Chi’s relationship with his father.

Shang-Chi cast: Who's in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings?

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

There’s a host of familiar faces starring in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, including the performer cast as Shang-Chi himself: Simu Liu. Liu has appeared in a number of acclaimed TV series, including Fresh of the Boat and Orphan Black. Still, starring in the lead role of Shang-Chi is a big deal for Liu — he’s portraying Marvel’s first Asian superhero in the MCU’s first movie not only led by an Asian star but also crafted by the filmmaking team of Cretton and Shang-Chi screenwriter David Callaham. The importance of this event in filmmaking history is not lost on Liu, who captioned an Instagram post with sentiments about representation in film and how Shang-Chi “is a celebration of our culture and a rallying cry for the forgotten, the unseen, and the overlooked.”

Besides Liu and Awkwafina, Awkafina’s Crazy Rich Asians co-stars Michelle Yeoh and Ronny Chieng reunite with one another Shang-Chi. Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Florian Munteanu (Creed II), and Fala Chen (The Undoing) also round out the cast.


The villain of Shang-Chi will be The Mandarin, played by Tony Leung. Previously in the MCU, a false Mandarin was introduced in Iron Man 3. That fake Mandarin was apprehended by the real Mandarin and his organization, the 10 Rings, so he could be removed and the real Mandarin later step into the limelight. Now, it seems the time is right for the real Mandarin to step forward.

The Mandarin has never been traditionally associated with Shang-Chi; he’s more of an Iron Man villain. The Mandarin and the 10 Rings will undoubtedly figure into Shang-Chi, it’s just a matter of how the enemies will be connected.

One option: Shang-Chi could retcon the relationship he has with his father, criminal overlord Fu Manchu, so that the Mandarin becomes his father but takes on Fu Manchu’s backstory. In the comics, Fu Manchu (based on the literary character created by author Sax Rohmer in 1916) is an immortal sorcerer and crime boss who raises Shang-Chi to be an extremely skilled fighter. Shang-Chi learns of his father’s criminal dealings and chooses to take down his empire piece by piece instead of fighting for him. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect set-up for a villain, then we don’t know what does.

****READ MORE: Black Panther 2: Release Date, Cast – T'Challa, Villain, and Plot

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