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Like “Warrior” meets “John Wick.”
Marvel has dropped an epic trailer for “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” featuring a kick-ass protagonist played by Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu. This marks the studio’s first film to center around an Asian superhero.
Based on the 1970s “Shang-Chi” comic books, the martial arts epic follows the saga of Shang-Chi (Liu), an exiled member of an international assassin’s cabal known as the “Ten Rings,” as he tries to navigate modern-day San Francisco.
Unsurprisingly, the ex-hitman’s secret gets out and he is pursued by his former terror organization, which happens to be run by his father.
The teaser doesn’t disclose much beyond that, but “Shang-Chi” promises plenty of high-flying action scenes, whispery exposition speeches and classic superhero gags.
Along with Liu, “Shang-Chi’s” stars Tony Leung, comedienne Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Ronny Chieng and more. The film is directed and written by indie drama auteur Destin Daniel Cretton.
“The most exciting thing about stepping into this character was that his backstory has never been told before,” Liu, 32, told People about the landmark role. “We had a lot of freedom and creative liberty to make it the way that we wanted to.”
This isn’t the first time Marvel has tried to adapt the Shang-Chi character to the big screen. Studio founder Stan Lee had previously attempted to develop a Shang-Chi flick starring Brandon Lee in the 1980s, but the project died on the vine.
Interestingly, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” comes amid the success of another kung fu epic: Cinemax’s “Warrior” series, in which a Chinese martial artist with a mysterious past tries to survive in the brutally sinophobic San Francisco of the 1800s. The series is inspired by the writings of Bruce Lee.
“Shang-Chi” is slated to hit theaters Sept. 3, 2021.
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