Published: Thu, March 14, 2019

Marvel Taps Destin Daniel Cretton to Direct Shang-Chi

Marvel Taps Destin Daniel Cretton to Direct Shang-Chi

When Shang-Chi was finally allowed to venture into the outside world in order to do his father's bidding, he learned about his father's evil ways and faked his own death before embarking on a mission to take down Fu Manchu's criminal empire. Late previous year came word that the movie was in development; now The Hollywood Reporter says its found its director, Destin Daniel Cretton. Cretton previously directed Short Term 12, the 2013 indie that starred Brie Larson, Rami Malek, Lakeith Stanfield, and more.

Both Callaham and Cretton are Asian-American, and Cretton recently wrapped filming Just Mercy, which stars Michael B. Jordan and his frequent collaborator (and muse) Brie Larson.

In the wake of Black Panther's massive success, Marvel is expanding its scope and looking to tap into audiences that haven't been particularly well-served at the box office. Cretton collaborated with Larson again on The Glass Castle, which is based on Jeannette Walls' memoir.

The martial arts master character was first created in the comics in the 1970s, but the film's script - which is being written by Chinese-American screenwriter Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2, The Expendables) - is going to "modernize the hero to avoid stereotypes that many comic characters of that era were saddled with".

Shang-Chi first appeared in Special Marvel Edition #15 in 1973. Since the latter film's success was largely credited to its African-American cast and crew and honoring of African traditions and customs, the studio is hoping to repeat that success by spotlighting Asian-Americans and their cultures.

In the wrong hands, the Kung Fu character of Shang-Chi could open up Marvel Studios to accusations of stereotyping (and indeed, he was created by Jim Starlin and Steve Englehart as a response to the popularity of the show Kung Fu). That series ran from 1974 to 1983.

Shang-Chi joins an ever-growing field of developing projects that will reshape the MCU following the events of Avengers: Endgame. Give us your impressions in the comment section below!

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