Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Looks Like Marvel's Kung-Fu Masterpiece
Something you might've forgotten in the past few months of Marvel history—where we've seen the likes of WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+—is that the studio makes movies too. We'll see Black Widow on July 9, followed by none other than Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which just got its first teaser trailer.
In the two-minute-long preview, we get a look at Marvel's first movie featuring an Asian protagonist. There's a glimpse at Shang-Chi (played by Simu Liu) growing up with his family, who were kind enough to spend a decade training him as an assassin. When he hits his twenties, Shang-Chi leaves his family for a life where he doesn't have to beat people up—and gets to spend all of his time hanging with Awkwafina. Of course, the terrorist organization that goes by the 10 Rings—which is led by none other than Shang-Chi's father, Wenwu, AKA The Mandarin—eventually comes calling. The trailer is as action-packed as you'd hope, teasing what just might be Marvel's kung-fu masterpiece.
In the comics, Shang-Chi is a master of kung-fu, similarly growing up as the heir to the 10 Rings. (As a kid, he doesn't know his family biz is evil, by the way.) His father, Fu Manchu, is regarded as a problematic portrayal of xenophobic tropes, so the MCU is adjusting Shang-Chi's origins so that the longtime Iron Man villain, the Mandarin, is his father instead. Even though he often works alone, Shang-Chi goes on to fight alongside Captain America, Daredevil, and the X-Men. As far as the movie goes, though? If Awkwafina crashing a bus and Simu Liu cranking out push-ups is any indication, we're in for a hell of a ride.
"The most exciting thing about stepping into this character was that his backstory has never been told before," Liu told Entertainment Weekly. "We know so many different versions of Batman's origin story, how his parents were murdered when he was very young. We know Peter Parker, who was bitten by a radioactive spider, and he loses his uncle. Shang-Chi's story is very much unknown to most of the world, so we had a lot of freedom and creative liberty to make it the way that we wanted to."
TBD how, exactly, Shang-Chi's adventures will fit into the next phase of the MCU. The 10 Rings organization was referenced as early as 2008's Iron Man. Plus, Iron Man 3 teased the introduction of the Mandarin, only to reveal he was an imposter. You can bet we'll have some answers when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters on September 3, 2021.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by Esquiremag.ph editors.