As if “Warrior” crossed paths with “John Wick.”
Marvel has released an epic trailer for “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which stars Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu as a badass protagonist. This is the studio’s first feature film to feature an Asian superhero.
The martial arts epic, based on the 1970s “Shang-Chi” comic books, follows Shang-Chi (Liu), an exiled member of an international assassins’ cabal known as the “Ten Rings,” as he attempts to navigate modern-day San Francisco.
Unsurprisingly, word of the ex-secret hitman’s spreads, and he is pursued by his former terror group, which is now run by his father.
Beyond that, the teaser indicates that “Shang-Chi” will feature plenty of high-flying action sequences, whispered exposition speeches, and classic superhero gags.
Along with Liu, “Shang- Chi’s” cast members include Tony Leung, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, and Ronny Chieng. Destin Daniel Cretton, an indie drama auteur, directed and wrote the script.
“What excites me most about stepping into this character is that his backstory has never been told,” Liu, 32, said of the historic position. “We had a great deal of artistic freedom to design it as we pleased.”
This is not Marvel’s first attempt at adapting the Shang-Chi character for the big screen. Stan Lee, the studio’s founder, attempted to produce a Shang-Chi film starring Brandon Lee in the 1980s, but the project fizzled.
Surprisingly, the release of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” coincides with the success of another kung fu epic: Cinemax’s “Warrior” movie, in which a Chinese martial artist with a mysterious history struggles to survive in a brutally sinophobic San Francisco in the early 1800s. The series is influenced by Bruce Lee’s writings.
“Shang-Chi” is scheduled to open in theaters on September 3, 2021.