The first teaser trailer for Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is below.
The upcoming superhero film is based on the Marvel Comics character Shang-Chi and stars Canadian actor Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience, Blood and Water) as a martial artist who has been trained to be an assassin since childhood by the Ten Rings terror organization and then tries to escape to a normal life in San Francisco.
Here’s a first look at the film from director Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy):
Marvel reportedly made the film a priority in 2018 on the heels of the success of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians. The goal was to introduce the MCU’s first Asian superhero protagonist and have a film that embodies Asian and Asian American themes. Also, while many MCU films feature at least some degree of martial arts-inspired fighting, Shang-Chi is the first to be billed as a full-fledged martial arts movie.
In the past, Marvel has been met with controversy when attempting to delve into Asian themes. Its 2017 Netflix TV series, Iron Fist, was widely slammed for focusing on a wealthy white character who masters Asian fighting traditions (which is the same setup as the comics). The show was canceled after two seasons. And the MCU’s 2016 film Doctor Strange had a whitewashing controversy when actress Tilda Swinton was cast in the part of the Ancient One — a character that is Asian in the comics (director Scott Derrickson explained the production cast a white actress to avoid Asian stereotypes, but by doing so, unfortunately removed an Asian character from the film).
Shang-Chi is part of Marvel’s Phase Four, and like many titles, its production was initially interrupted by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Other castmembers include Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy, Tony Leung as Shang-Chi’s father and the leader of the Ten Rings, and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan.
The film is scheduled to be released Sept. 3 and is one of four Marvel titles headed to theaters this year along with Black Widow (July 9), Eternals (Nov. 5) and Spider-Man: No Way Home (Dec. 17).