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Marvel Studios is developing a new feature that will center on hero Shang-Chi in a project that would act as the superhero studio’s first stand-alone movie with an Asian lead.
Dave Callaham will pen the screenplay, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. A director is not yet attached.
Shang-Chi — or, as Marvel refers to him, the Master of Kung Fu — debuted in 1973’s Special Marvel Edition No. 15, created by Steve Englehart and Thanos creator Jim Starlin after an attempt to acquire the comic book rights to the television series Kung Fu fell through. The son of infamous pulp villain Fu Manchu, Shang-Chi was trained as a martial artist assassin by his father, only to rebel against him and become a superhero instead. The character was a massive success through the 1970s, and was recently revived as a member of the Avengers during 2012’s Marvel Now! Publishing event.
Callaham is no stranger to the superhero genre, having helped to pen Warner Bros. and DC’s upcoming Wonder Woman sequel, Wonder Woman 1984. His credits also include The Expendables franchise and Sony’s upcoming Zombieland 2. He is repped by UTA and Kaplan Perrone.
The Shang-Chi news comes as Hollywood is embracing projects with Asian leads following the success of Warner Bros.’ Crazy Rich Asians, which pulled in more than $236 million at the global box office. Warners’ film arm New Line has picked up China-set romantic comedy Singles Day, based on a spec by Lillian Yu. Last week it was announced that Crazy Rich star Awkwafina created and will star in a Comedy Central series based on her own life.
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Cannes Film Festival