Shang-Chi Co-Creator Jim Starlin Hopes 'Embarrassing' Villain Isn't in Film

Jim Starlin has had a hand in creating Thanos, Gamora and several other Marvel characters, but he has some serious regrets about another of his creations, Shang-Chi.

During an interview at this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego, Starlin spoke about the creation of the kung-fu superhero, and most notably about the presence of Fu Manchu. The controversial villain, who was originally created by Sax Rohmer, is widely regarded as the archetype for culturally insensitive 'yellow peril' villain, and he was originally portrayed as Shang-Chi's father in the Marvel Universe.

During an interview with Popcorn Talk, he explained that the villain is the major thing he hopes doesn't make it into the upcoming Shang-Chi film.

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When asked what he wanted to see in the film, Starlin said, "It's easier to say what I would not like to see out of Shang-Chi, and that's Fu Manchu. I'm hoping, and I'm pretty sure they're gonna cut him out of the whole thing... I had never read a Fu Manchu book before we did Shang-Chi. I think it was Stan [Lee] or Roy [Thomas], they bought the rights to it from the Rohmer family. Only after I got done with the first issue, did Larry Hama, a friend of mine, say, 'Have you ever read one of these books?' And he gave me one the next day, and I was going, ehhh, jeez, it's kinda embarrassing."

During a panel at SDCC, Starlin elaborated on the situation, saying he'd never actually read a Fu Manchu book before Hama gave him a copy. "Over the following week, while I was working on the second issue [of Shang-Chi], I read it. I was horrified by these... yellow peril books. These are not politically correct whatsoever. Anybody who's not white is villainous in these things. Quite frankly, I was horrified."

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Starlin even revealed, "That's why I ditched Shang-Chi after only three issues and went back fully to Captain Marvel. I was kind of embarrassed by it. We'd started with good intentions, and by the time I was in the middle of the second issue I was sort of like 'I want to get out of here.' That's why I only did a few issues of it."

Shang-Chi is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, based on a script by Dave Callaham. There is no official cast or release date yet for this upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film.

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