Marvel Studios is opening the door wide open for more representation in films. Following the successes of Black Panther and Captain Marvel, the superhero studio is putting an adaptation of Shang-Chi, Marvel’s first superhero film with an Asian protagonist, into development.
And now, they have found the director to helm it. New reports confirm that Short Term 12‘s Destin Daniel Cretton will be directing Shang-Chi. More on the report below.
Confirmed by Deadline, the hiring follows a long line of Marvel finding indie directors to helm their big-budget blockbuster tentpoles. Captain Marvel directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck are the most recent pair of filmmakers who have come from smaller budget film backgrounds before making the leap to something bigger. And it looks like it is paying off for them because these directors were able to deliver a stronger more character-driven film while also giving us something with a little action.
It’s still unclear on when production will start on Shang-Chi. For one thing, the film does not have a release date yet. Another thing to note is that there is no cast. That being said, you can be sure it will be full-steam ahead for the studio once they figure all of that out.
Now, as for Cretton, he is currently working on Just Mercy, a film that stars Brie Larson and Michael B. Jordan. It marks the third time that the director has worked with Larson and the first with Jordan. Both actors have appeared in Marvel Studio films. Cretton’s credits also include I Am Not A Hipster and The Glass Castle. But the one film that really stands out is Short Term 12.
For those who haven’t watched a little movie called Short Term 12, I suggest you drop what you are doing and watch it now. Because it is pretty much an amazing piece of work that looks into the inner workings of a care unit for at-risk teens. The film has such authenticity, sincerity, and warmth to it that it is easy to see why it has earned such high praise. Not only that, but it also starred a couple of people you might have heard of. Larson, who has gone on to win an Academy Award and star in Captain Marvel, plays the lead. With Rami Malek (who recently won the Oscar for Best Actor), Lakeith Stanfield (who has also appeared in FX’s Atlanta and Jordan Peele’s Get Out), Stephanie Beatriz (who appears as the deadpan detective in Brooklyn Nine-Nine), and Kaitlyn Dever, who will appear in the SXSW darling Booksmart.
Shang-Chi was created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin, and the character made his official debut in Special Marvel Edition #15 in December 1973. He is considered to be a “Master of Kung Fu,” who has the ability to dodge bullets and create duplicates of himself. However, after years of training with his father in seclusion, he goes to the outside world where he has to “come to grips with the fact his revered father might not be the humanitarian he has claimed to be and is closer to what others call him: The Devil’s Doctor.”
Cretton will be using a script written by Chinese-American scribe Dave Callaham.
No word yet one when Shang-Chi will be released, but we will be sure to update you when that bit of news comes in.