Marvel Developing Shang-Chi, Its First Asian Superhero Film

Marvel Studios is reportedly developing Shang-Chi, its first Asian superhero movie, according to Deadline.

Chinese-American writer, Dave Callaham, will be writing the screenplay. Callaham most recently co-wrote the sequel for Wonder Woman 1984, and is writing the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2.

For those unfamiliar, Shang-Chi is a martial artist who is also a super hero, and known as the “Master of Kung-Fu” in the Marvel Universe. He first appeared in 1973’s Special Marvel Edition No. 15.

This isn’t the first time Marvel has expressed interest in a Shang-Chi movie, though it has been a long, long time since the project was originally proposed — way back in 2005, Marvel Entertainment first announced to develop what would become the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Back then, the proposed properties that would be made into Marvel films included Captain America, Nick Fury, Black Panther, Ant-Man, Dr. Strange, Hawkeye, Cloak & Dagger, Power Pack, The Avengers, and Shang-Chi. The original 10 Marvel projects didn’t even include 2008’s Iron Man, which was the first movie the company produced itself rather than licensing the property out and was the film that would form the foundation of the MCU.

The news follows the success of Crazy Rich Asians, which boomed at the box office and already has a sequel on the way at Warner Bros.

According to Deadline, Marvel is looking at numerous Asian and Asian-American directors for the project, to create a film with similar cultural success to Black Panther, tying into the diverse backgrounds.

Black Panther tied into African and African American backgrounds, with an almost all-black cast, director, and writer, with Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole.

IGN confirmed in October that Coogler would be returning to direct and write the sequel to Black Panther.

Disney even announced that they want Black Panther in 16 major categories for the Academy Awards this upcoming year, including Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Picture.

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.”

Jessie Wade is a news writer at IGN and loves the idea to develop more diverse Marvel movies. Follow her on Twitter @jessieannwade.