Marvel Studios' next big hero will reportedly be the martial artist Shang-Chi.
According to Deadline, Shang-Chi will headline his own film franchise, appropriately titled Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu. Chinese-American writer Dave Callaham will handle the film’s screenplay, while a director is currently being pursued. Callaham helped write the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 and will pen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s sequel.
Shang-Chi will be the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to have an Asian lead. Created by Steve Engleheart and Jim Starlin, Shang-Chi made his Marvel Universe debut in December 1973’s Special Marvel Edition #15. The son of a China-based globalist, Shang is a master martial artist who grew up isolated from the larger world. Unaware that his father is evil and possibly centuries old, Shang is let out into the world only to do his dad’s bidding. The film is said to be similar to Black Panther, in that it will take care to avoid stereotypes and blend Asian and Asian-American themes, as told by Asian and Asian-American creators.
Over the years, Shang has become an important character to the Marvel universe. In Jonathan Hickman’s run on Avengers, Shang joined the team armed with high tech weaponry and even acquired super powers of his own.