Following the release of the action-packed Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings trailer, we now have a new image giving us a detailed look at actor Simu Liu superhero-suited up as the title character of Marvel's upcoming martial arts epic. The MCU movie 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.
The newly released image of the Kim's Convenience star as Shang-Chi has the actor standing in a temple as he looks off into the distance, a concerned expression on his face. No doubt he is thinking about who he must beat up next. Much like most of Marvel's approach to costumes, Shang-Chi's suit is very reminiscent of the source material, whilst making the necessary adjustments for jump to live action. The Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings color palette and overall design is very close to the source material, while adding detailing to make it more silver screen ready.
Simu Liu certainly looks as heroic as any other member of the MCU roster, with the actor himself recently revealing that he cannot wait to portray Marvel's first Asian lead. "When you look at the character of Shang-Chi through the comic books going back to the '70s and '80s, the fact that he existed and the fact that he was an Asian character was amazing," Liu said. "But at the same time, there are aspects of that portrayal of him that maybe could feel a little stereotypical. So when we first started to map out who this character was and what his journey was going to be over the course of this film, we were all very sensitive to not have it go into stereotypical territory."
The chance to bring the first Asian superhero to the Marvel Cinematic Universe was 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."
Thanks to the trailer, we now know that the plot of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will focus on the relationship between the Marvel hero and his father, Wenwu AKA The Mandarin, played by Tony Leung. "The core of Shang-Chi's arc in the comics is really a family drama," said producer Jonathan Schwartz of the Shang-Chi story. "That was something that Destin keyed into really early on in our conversations, the idea of taking this broken family and this really dark, even abusive family background and seeing what that does to a child over time."
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.