Marvel has found its director for Shang-Chi. We first learned of this project late last year and, while Marvel Studios hasn't formally announced that it's happening, it seems to be coming together quite nicely behind the scenes. Now, we have word that director Destin Daniel Cretton has been tapped to helm the project, which will see him become the first Asian filmmaker to helm a movie within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and will also center on an Asian protagonist, another first.

According to a new report, Destin Cretton, who is known for his previous work on movies like Short Term 12 and The Glass Castle, has been locked down to direct Shang-Chi. He'll be working from a script penned by Dave Callaham, which was revealed when news of this project first broke back in December. Callaham, also an Asian-American, previously worked on Wonder Woman 1984, Zombieland 2, The Expendables movies and 2014's Godzilla. He's also been tapped by Sony to pen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2. Needless to say, the man has a knack when it comes to franchises.

As for Destin Daniel Cretton, this will put him in the realm of blockbuster filmmaking. His previous efforts have been well-respected, but he's never taken a crack at a big budget tentpole before. Currently, he's working on his latest effort Just Mercy, which features MCU stars Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) and Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther). Marvel is looking to take a lesson or two from Black Panther on this one. That movie grossed $1.3 billion at the box office, on its way to a Best Picture Oscar nomination and three Oscar wins. Audiences aren't just ready to embrace diverse voices in front of and behind the camera, their downright hungry for it. Shang-Chi has the ability to tap into a similarly underserved demographic.

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Shang-Chi, for those who may not be familiar, is a master martial artist who was introduced in the pages of Marvel Comics back in 1973 in Special Marvel Edition #15. The character was eventually given his own series and is often referred to as the Master of Kung Fu. Shang-Chi was created by writer Steve Englehart and legendary artist Jim Starlin. He is the son of Fu Manchu, who trains his son in the ways of martial arts. However, it's eventually revealed that his father is evil, leading to conflict between them.

Currently, Marvel is keeping their plans beyond Avengers: Endgame very secretive. We know that a Black Widow movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Eternals are all in development, alongside sequels like Doctor Strange 2 and Black Panther 2, but much of what's coming our way in the next few years remains mysterious. But it appears as though we're getting a brand new, potentially very exciting type of hero. There is no word currently on how soon production could get underway, but we'll be sure to keep you posted as more details on the project are made available. This news was first reported by Deadline.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott