Coming soon: the first Asian superhero movie.
Marvel is reportedly fast-tracking "Shang-Chi" to be its first superhero movie tentpole franchise with an Asian protagonist, according to Deadline.
The studio has hired Chinese-American writer Dave Callaham to pen the script and is looking for an Asian-American director.
The hope is that "Shang-Chi" could be as groundbreaking (and successful) as "Black Panther," which had a black director in Ryan Coogler and starred a nearly all-black cast.
Shang-Chi made his first comic book appearance in 1973, around the time that "Enter the Dragon" and other martial arts films were very popular. The protagonist is the son of a Chinese globalist who grew up training in martial arts in a reclusive compound. He eventually goes into the world to do his revered father's bidding, but soon learns his father may not be the humanitarian he's claimed to be. Later, Shang-Chi joins the Avengers.
With next year's "Avengers 4" seemingly drawing a close to the first chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the studio has been diversifying its film slate. "Captain Marvel," its first female-led superhero movie, arrives in March. A "Black Widow" standalone film is in development, as is "Black Panther 2."