As seen in the first teaser footage, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton has revealed the inspiration behind the upcoming MCU outing's fight scenes, and it's sure to have martial arts fans very excited. Cretton name-dropped both legendary movie martial artist Jackie Chan and Ang Lee's stunning Oscar winner Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as the major influences on the master of kung fu.
"Authenticity and respect and staying true to this genre was the main objective from day one. There's choreography that's reminiscent of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and other fight scenes are inspired by Jackie Chan. We also had choreographers from mainland China who created some beautiful wuxia-style fight scenes. It was important for us from the beginning to have the MCU's first Asian-American superhero be a superhero. We want him to be on par with other superheroes in the MCU and not just be the master of kung fu. Shang-Chi is an incredible martial artist, but he's so much more than that."
The style and fight choreography between Jackie Chan and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon are starkly different, with the former being more frantic and brutal if always wonderfully creative, while the latter is more poetic in its visuals and uses a lot of so-called wire fu. The fact that both will come into play in Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings suggests that the story and the fights therein will likely jump between the two depending on who's throwing down at the time.
Along with his insight into the fight sequences, a new image from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was also unveiled. Though sadly it is sorely lacking in any martial arts...
With Destin Daniel Cretton at the helm, working from a screenplay he wrote with David Callaham and Andrew Lanham, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi alongside Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, Meng'er Zhang, Florian Munteanu, and Ronny Chieng. The MCU installment will introduce audiences to a brand-new hero and a brand-new world of assassins, fantasy and martial arts, when Shang-Chi is drawn into the clandestine Ten Rings organization and is forced to confront the past he thought he'd left behind. With added dragons, of course.
The movie is set to introduce audiences to the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first Asian lead, something which is a matter of great importance and responsibility to director Destin Daniel Cretton, who was instantly reminded of his own experiences with comic book characters and their representation. "When that announcement came out, I just went instantly back to my childhood," Cretton explained. "[Growing up] all I had was Spider-Man. Because he had the mask on, I could dress up like Spider-Man for Halloween. I had a handful of other characters that looked like me on screen, but there were maybe two or three that I could choose from, and superheroes were not a part of that."
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is scheduled to be released in the United States on September 3, 2021, as part of Phase Four of the MCU. This comes to us courtesy of Empire.