Marvel is reportedly planning its first movie with an Asian lead

Shang-Chi is the son of the internationally renowned powerful criminal mastermind Fu Manchu

Shang-Chi is the son of the internationally renowned powerful criminal mastermind Fu Manchu

Deadline reports that Marvel Studios is fast-tracking a Shang-Chi film to be their first Asian-led superhero film.

In terms of what Marvel hopes to accomplish with Shang-Chi, the immediate reference point is Black Panther, which utilized African-American filmmakers and an nearly all-black cast to create a world and story steeped in African culture and themes that resonated with African and African-American audiences. The film will feature the studio's first Asian protagonist. It's rumored that Marvel has hired Chinese-American screenwriter Dave Callaham to write the script, and it appears the company very much wants a director of Asian descent to helm the film.

Indeed, not only is Black Panther one of Marvel Studios' most successful films thus far, it's by far their most critically acclaimed.

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According to Deadline, Marvel hopes to build on it's successes by focusing on diversity and inclusion behind the camera. Callaham's past work includes creating the "Expendables" franchise, Legendary studio's "Godzilla" franchise, and most recently, co-writing DC's upcoming "Wonder Woman 1984" with Patty Jenkins and Geoff Johns.

While we wait for more news on Marvel's Shang-Chi, read IGN's review of Crazy Rich Asians where we said, "Crazy Rich Asians is a Cinderella story with a cast that deserves to be seen in a lot more films". Shang-Chi's own series, Master of Kung-Fu, lasted 125 issues and almost ten years. The comic was inspired by the success of Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon, and Shang-Chi's adventures garnered a strong fan following. His father, a powerful mastermind set on global domination, has him raised in a compound where he is trained in martial arts until he is ready to go out into the world to do his father's bidding.

The general plot holds that Shang-Chi was born in Hunan Province in communist China. Fortunately, the script will "modernize" the tale of Shang-Chi to avoid retelling a story that could set Asians back by nearly a century.

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