The Master of Kung-Fu is about to get his due.
Marvel has released the first trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, emphasizing the martial arts action and fantasy mix that brings the cult character to life.
Who is Shang-Chi?
Debuting in 1973, Shang-Chi was one of several comic book characters taking advantage of the martial arts craze Bruce Lee’s films created in the early 1970s.
The character was the son of infamous crime boss Fu Manchu but rebelled when he learned of his father’s evil ways. Living up to his nickname as “The Master of Kung-Fu,” Shang-Chi is the greatest martial artist alive, capable of defeating almost anyone in hand-to-hand combat.
The character has shifted over the years from a Bruce Lee clone to a smart and capable warrior who has even served as an Avenger. While broody and serious most of the time, he has a great heart as he helps others.
As time has gone by, his father’s identity has shifted from Fu Manchu to merely another crime boss after Marvel lost the rights to the character.
Shang-Chi cast in action
The trailer opens with Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) living a nice life in San Francisco alongside best friend Katy (Awkwafina) and a seemingly normal guy.
It then jumps into Shang-Chi’s training under his father, the supernatural crime boss Wenwu (Tony Leung) aka the Mandarin, the leader of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. The trailer emphasizes plenty of action in how Shang-Chi fights with various masked figures.
There is also action such as a battle on a bus with what appears to be Marvel villain Razor Fist (Florian Munteanu) and glimpses of Fala Chen as Jiang Li and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan.
It ends with a wild chase through San Francisco with Katy driving a bus, ala Sandra Bullock in Speed.
In an intriguing touch, the trailer has been released on Liu’s 32nd birthday.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings cast includes Simu Liu, Tony Leung, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Jiang Nan, Meng’er Zhang. Ronny Cheng, Fala Chen and Jiang Len.
Shang-Chi’s road to the screen
It has been a long road to the big screen for Shang-Chi. Brandon Lee was briefly attached to a project about the character in the early 1990s, but his tragic death in 1993 cut that short. Various other stalled projects followed before Marvel announced this version in 2018.
Like other Marvel Phase 4 projects, Shang-Chi has seen its release delayed several times by the coronavirus pandemic.
The film began production in February of 2020, but the shutdowns due to the pandemic forced filming to be halted until August, with another delay occurring until wrapping up in November.
This put off the original release date of February 2021. The film was set for July 7 until Marvel announced Black Widow would be releasing in both theaters and Disney+ on that date. Shang-Chi thus moved to September 3.
Despite these delays, the trailer shows that the legendary martial artist is finally about to make his move in the MCU and bring some stunning action with him.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings premieres in theaters September 3.