Shang-Chi Trailer Shows Marvel’s First Asian-Lead Superhero In Action
The Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings trailer dropped today and it was a jam-packed two minutes with nonstop action. Due to the pandemic, filming was temporarily put on hold, but it looks like things wrapped up nicely. In a tweet wishing Shang-Chi actor Simu Liu a happy birthday, Marvel Studios shared the official teaser trailer. If the Twitter video is too small, we’ve embedded the YouTube trailer below. Twice the Shang-Chi for the price of one article. (I’m being told the price is “free.”)
Happy Birthday @SimuLiu! We hope you enjoy your birthday present.
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) April 19, 2021
Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. We learn that Shang-Chi is Wenwu/Mandarin’s son, but he was given “ten years to live his life” before coming back to fulfill his duty to his father. While Shang-Chi didn’t look like he was in the most successful of careers (valet driver?), he was happy and content to be a normal guy. When his father attempts to bring him back into the Ten Rings, Shang-Chi refuses, thus setting off a new chain of battles, fight scenes, and overall mayhem.
The Importance Of Representation
While Shang-Chi may not have the name recognition of some other Marvel superheroes, his introduction to the MCU is important and timely, especially given the call for more diversity in media set against a growing number of hate crimes against the Asian community.
Shang-Chi’s original backstory is tied closely with the racist yellow peril movement in the 19th and 20th centuries, which portrayed Chinese, Korean, and Japanese people as sub-human. His father was Dr. Fu Manchu, depicted with a demon-like face, long nails, and a mustache. This racist depiction of Asian people was created by an English novelist named Sax Rohmer, who saw the “invasion” of Western nations by Asian immigrants as something to be stopped.
Image via Marvel Entertainment
Marvel eventually lost the rights to the Fu Manchu name and later issues had Shang-Chi’s father named Zheng Zu. Despite the racist and problematic history of Shang-Chi, this movie could represent an important step in portraying other cultures in a respectful light. It was good that Marvel replaced Dr. Fu Manchu with Wenwu/Mandarin and the movie stars a mainly Asian cast and has an Asian director, which can be important to making sure cultural nuances are noted and taken into consideration.
As we saw with Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, representation matters. This teaser trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings looks promising and I can only hope that Marvel (and other studios) continue to portray and uplift the Asian community.
Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and produced by Kevin Feige and Jonathan Schwartz, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, and Charles Newirth serving as executive producers. David Callaham & Destin Daniel Cretton & Andrew Lanham wrote the screenplay. The film also stars Tony Leung as Wenwu, Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan, as well as Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu and Ronny Chieng.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be in theaters September 3. Watch the trailer below:
What are your thoughts on the new Shang-Chi trailer? Let us know in the comments below!
Keilin Huang is a freelance writer that likes the Oxford comma, reading from her neverending pile of books from the library, and Reeses peanut butter cups. She thanks her Dad for introducing her to his Superman comics and probably majored in Journalism because of Lois Lane.