In theory, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is less than six months away provided that the Coronavirus domino effect doesn’t force the studio into another wide-ranging reshuffle. Kevin Feige is keen to keep things as they are, but there was also a resignation in his recent comments where he admitted that confidence is meaningless in trying to predict what’ll happen in the immediate future.
Of course, Shang-Chi was one of the first major Hollywood productions to be shut down as a result of the pandemic, but filming wrapped in October and director Destin Daniel Cretton is now deep in post-production. So far, the team have done a great job in keeping things under wraps, too, because we know very little about the project at this stage, with the names of the major characters only being officially revealed last month.
However, insider Daniel Richtman is now claiming that Simu Liu’s title hero will play a huge role in the MCU moving forward, and occupy a position similar to the one Chadwick Boseman was initially supposed to hold as one of the shared mythology’s most integral recurring figures, before the Black Panther star tragically passed away last summer.
“Shang-Chi is being positioned as the MCU’s next Black Panther, huge figure in the MCU, similar to what T’Challa was,” he writes.
Of course, on the surface, it would appear to be an incredibly reductive statement to simply call Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings the ‘Asian Black Panther,’ but it does mark another huge step forward for the world’s most popular franchise in terms of representation and diversity. The upcoming blockbuster might not end up making the same sort of cultural, societal, box office or awards season impact as Ryan Coogler’s acclaimed generational phenomenon, but it will look to inspire the same number of people across the world regardless.