Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi’ Snags Director Destin Daniel Cretton

Shang-Chi Master of Kung Fu is coming to the big screen. The obscure Marvel Comics character will have his feature film debut directed by indie film director Destin Daniel.

It will be the first Marvel Studios film to be headlined by an Asian lead. Cretton broke out with the 2013 indie favorite Short Term 12, which starred Brie Larson as a woman working in a group home for teenagers.

Shang-Chi, who in the comics was born in China to a Chinese father and a white American mother, first appeared in 1973’sSpecial Marvel Edition No. 15 and was created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin after Marvel failed to acquire the comic book rights to the television series Kung Fu. Shang-Chi was trained as a martial artist assassin by his father, the infamous pulp villain Fu Manchu, but later became a hero after rebelling against his father’s ways. Shang-Chi was a hit character in the ’70s, and recently saw a revival as a member of the Avengers during 2012’s Marvel Now! Publishing event.

Wonder Woman 1984 screenwriter Dave Callaham is penning the script for Shang-Chiand will update the character for modern audiences. Marvel is said to be planning on assembling a largely Asian-American and Asian cast for the feature.

Moving into the next phase of Marvel cinematic movies will be an interesting one. The Avengers appear to have less of a Spotlight now that Disney has the rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. It’s still unknown where the studio where go beyond this summer’s Spider-Man Far From Home.