Famous Hong Kong star Tony Leung Chiu-wai (not to be confused with another Hong Kong actor, Tony Leung Ka-fai) will be making his Hollywood debut in Marvel’s upcoming superhero movie “Shang-Chi”, Marvel’s first Asian superhero movie.
The award-winning 57-year-old actor who is one of Hong Kong’s cinema giants will be the first Hong Kong actor to star in a Marvel movie where he will be taking on the role of the movie’s main villain called The Mandarin.
While many of his fans are happy for him, not everyone is amused by the news. On Weibo, Chinese netizens are criticising Leung for accepting the antagonist role who is said to be inspired by the controversial character Fu Manchu.
To give a little bit more context on the character, Fu Manchu is a villain character created in 1912 who has become an archetype of the evil criminal genius and mad scientist. The character made his debut in Marvel comics in 1973 and is widely seen as a racist take on the Chinese by Westerners.
In the comics, Shang-Chi is actually the son of Fu Manchu, but the character is completely omitted from the movie, due to the licensing issues and racist stereotypes surrounding the character.
Netizens expressed their disappointment over Leung’s decision to take on the role, claiming that the actor has been blinded by money. Other netizens have also raised issues regarding the character’s name.
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“Naming the villain the Mandarin, a direct translation of our Chinese language, is definitely an insult to China. I’m not going to wait until Marvel names a villain as China to boycott. I will start with boycotting Shang-Chi,” one user wrote on Weibo.
Leung did not respond to any of the backlash, but his wife Carina Lau, a fellow Hong Kong cinema giant, shows her support for her husband’s new role on social media.
Directed by Hawaii-born director Destin Daniel Cretton, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” will feature Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu in the titular role as well as “Crazy Rich Asians” star Awkwafina.
Source: inkstone / Featured Image: mcu_direct