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Shang-Chi’s Journey of Self-Discovery

September 2nd, 2021Shang-Chi’s Journey of Self-Discovery


Marvel Cinemtic fans recently experienced the origin story of fan-favorite, Natasha Romanoff in BLACK WIDOW, but soon they will be introduced to the newest superhero in the MCU. To prepare for the next installment in Marvel Phase Four and the origin story of Shang-Chi, we interviewed Destin Daniel Cretton, director of SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS.

Destin Daniel Cretton most recently directed the AMC Artisan Film JUST MERCY, starring two of Hollywood’s biggest names who have played an integral part in the success of the MCU, Brie Larson and Michael B. Jordan. Cretton told us that the two actors were influential in his transition from the creative development of the smaller budget, artisan films to the blockbuster machine that is Marvel. Ryan Coogler, director of the BLACK PANTHER also played an essential role during the process, influencing Cretton’s decision with bringing his vision of the character to life and making him relevant, current so all fans could relate too him, whether you are Asian American, African American or Caucasian. “The fulfilment of a childhood dream to actually put a superhero in the world that, I could actually dress up like at Halloween, or relate to as an Asian American… with Simu was extremely fulfilling.”

A very important aspect in the creative process for Cretton was watching actor, Simu Liu transform himself into the hero, Shang-Chi, “Watching Simu bring the character to life with his humor, charisma and his intensity, was really fulfilling and magical.” He spoke about his excitement for fans who will be inspired by Shang-Chi, as he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, turning his pain from the past into strength. More importantly though, he is very excited for fans to discover all of the characters in SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS, “I am as equally excited to introduce the world to all of these characters, they’re such a rainbow of personalities, that when you leave the theatre will be almost impossible for you to hold on to the fictional belief that all Asians are the same. Every character in this movie is so beautifully and drastically different.”

Within the rainbow of personalities, fans will be introduced to the “real” Mandarin, not the Trevor Slattery character from IRON MAN 3, but Shang-Chi’s father, Wenwu. Cretton finds the version in his movie very relatable and prefers to call the Mandarin, Wenwu. “The way Tony Leung plays him, really breaks the stereotype of the Mandarin… he’s a fully realized human being that may do things… that most of us would never do and you may not agree with. But you will relate to the reasons why he is pushed to do those things.” From the trailer, very little is known about the father of Shang-Chi but Cretton spoke briefly about the pain that is pushing Wenwu, and that it may appear vicious and scary.

One thing that fans of the comics have noticed, is the shape of the Mandarim’s rings themselves. Instead of being jeweled rings, the creative team behind SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS referenced the influences of KUNG FU HUSTLE and THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN with inspiring the design of the bracelets seen in the trailer on posters. Cretton shared that they did not want the ten rings to be on the Mandarins fingers, because it felt too similar to the previous villain in the MCU, “when that idea was birthed, it created a whole new exciting journey to go on with the ten rings.” The shape of the ten rings may be different than the comics, but we will have to wait and see if the bracelets contain the same powers.

As we wrapped up the interview, one part of the movie that Cretton could not dive deep into was the involvement of a previous MCU character, Abomination. He did go on to say though that, “The fun of working in the MCU, that it is incredibly fun and creatively fulfilling, because there is so many hanging questions from the past that you can choose to answer in your movie, or pitch to connect dots in the MCU.” You can see bits of the role Abomination plays in the journey of Shang-Chi in the newest trailer in an epic battle within a caged arena.

Get your tickets and embark on a journey of self-discovery and epic adventures when you see SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS on the big screen and an AMC near you.


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