We may have our first indication as to who Marvel Studios is looking at for the lead roles in Shang-Chi. While the studio hasn't yet announced what their Phase 4 slate beyond Avengers: Endgame is going to look like, certain projects have made themselves known, with this being one of them. Work has quietly begun on the martial arts-influenced adaptation behind the scenes, and it appears as though the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be courting a star from the DC universe, in addition to a martial arts legend.
According to a new report, Aquaman and Power Rangers star Ludi Lin is expected to meet with Marvel about the lead role in Shang-Chi. This is early days in the casting process and the report stresses no frontrunner has emerged. It's expected other names will make their way online in the weeks to come. Certain fans have been hot on the idea of Mike Moh, who plays martial arts icon Bruce Lee in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, landing the gig. Speaking of martial arts icons, it's also being reported that Ip Man franchise star Donnie Yen is possibly being courted for a different, unspecified role.
Shang-Chi, much like Guardians of the Galaxy prior to becoming a movie, is not a very well-known property within the Marvel Comics canon. For those who may not be familiar, the character is a master of the martial arts who made his debut in Special Marvel Edition #15 back 1973. The character eventually landed his own series and is known as "the Master of Kung Fu." Created by writer Steve Englehart and legendary artist Jim Starlin, Shang-Chi is the son of Fu Manchu. He trains his son in martial arts, but things get complicated when it's eventually revealed that his father is evil. This leads to something of a brutal family conflict.
And that's where things get interesting. It would be very easy to picture, if we allow for a bit of speculation, that Ludi Lin would play the titular hero, whereas Donnie Yen could portray his father. Lin, for his part, is a star who is very much on the rise and the kind of person that Marvel loves to associate with. Yen, meanwhile, is at the top of his field and has a good working relationship with Disney, having previously starred in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), is on board to direct, with a script from Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984). Disney previously revealed release dates for eight untitled Marvel movies, set to arrive on May 1, 2020, November 6, 2020, February 12, 2021, May 7, 2021, November 5, 2021, February 18, 2022, May 6, 2022, and July 29, 2022. Black Widow is currently filming, with other movies such as The Eternals, Doctor Strange 2, Black Panther 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in the pipeline. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news was previously reported by That Hashtag Show.