It has been 10 years that Marvel established itself as the biggest player in the superhero genre, thanks to characters like Iron Man, Captain America, Doctor Strange and Hulk. Now, the studio wants to take its game one notch higher with phase four films.
In phase four, Marvel becomes more inclusive by including a deaf character, LGBTQ superhero, Female Thor, a coloured Muslim actor and many more. Canadian-Chinese actor Simu Liu's entry in Marvel Cinematic Universe as martial arts superhero Shang-Chi is also likely to contribute to its inclusive nature. Marvel Studios long-in-the-works film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was announced at the San Diego Comic-Con 2019. Turns out, Liu himself suggested the idea to Marvel.
In 2018, the Kim's Convenience star Tweeted to Marvel, suggesting they get in touch with him about the possibility of a Shang-Chi movie. Less than a year later, it was announced he will star in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. It's the realisation of a long-time dream of Liu's, who'd spoken about wanting to play a superhero several times.
Back in 2014, the actor tweeted a Captain America appreciation post and asked Marvel if they plan to introduce an Asian American superhero too. He wrote, "Hey @Marvel, great job with Cpt America and Thor. Now how about an Asian American hero?" (sic)
Likewise, in 2016, he again prompted for playing a superhero.
For the unversed, Shang-Chi, born in China to a Chinese father and an American mother, first appeared in 1973's Special Marvel Edition No. 15. Shang-Chi was trained as a martial artist by his father, the infamous pulp villain Fu Manchu, but later became a hero after rebelling against his father. The character was created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin after Marvel failed to acquire the comic book rights to the television series Kung Fu.
Liu will be starring alongside Awkwafina and veteran actor Tony Leung in the Shang-Chi stand-alone. The film will be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. The film will be hitting the theatres on February 12, 2021, and is being scripted by Wonder Woman 1984 screenwriter Dave Callaham.
Marvel also announced Thor: Love and Thunder, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3, Black Widow, The Eternals, Doctor Strange 2, Black Panther 2, Blade and others in its phase four.
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