In an effort to broaden diversity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel is looking spearhead the Asian-led superhero flick, “Shang-Chi“.
According to That Hashtag Show, Asian actors Ludi Lin and Ross Butler are currently on the short list to play Shang-Chi. Additionally, Marvel is also hoping to cast martial arts movie legend Donnie Yen for an unnamed part.
Yen has developed a relationship with Disney ever since he joined “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in 2016. He’s also set to appear in the upcoming “Mulan” live-action remake. It also helps that he’s a pro in martial arts and has international draw. Screen Rant believes that the 55-year-old Hong Kong star could potentially take on the role of Mandarin.
As for Lin and Butler, both of the young Asian actors are no stranger to the superhero universe. Both have starred in the DC Extended Universe, namely “Aquaman” and “Shazam”. Lin was also the Black Ranger in “Power Rangers”.
The character Shang-Chi is “an expert martial artist and master of kung-fu whose physical prowess makes him one of the deadliest fighters in the Marvel Universe”. Lin who recently demonstrated that ability in “Black Mirror” has a slight edge over Butler.
Having said that, Lin is 5’10” tall while Butler stands at 6’2″ (which makes him a much more imposing figure on screen). Still, Lin has shown interest since December 2018. When asked about the prospect of joining the MCU, the actor said, “It’s definitely something I want to do. To do an Asian-centric superhero. To tell that story. I mean ideally, I’d like to design my own superhero, make my own creation. But I think the Marvel world is pretty incredible as well.”
Chinese-American writer Dave Callahan was hired to pen the script while Destin Daniel Cretton is set to direct the superhero movie.
“Shang-Chi” is likely to debut on 12th February, 2021.