Marvel Studios’ first ever film with a leading Asian character, Shang-Chi, is coming to theaters.
The film is filled with amazingly choreographed fight scenes highlighting different forms of martial arts, Asian foods, spirituality, the central role of families, and even the flattering stereotypes like getting “real jobs.”
Beyond that fact, it’s a Marvel film that the rest of the Asian cast and crew think is much more than that.
“It was always supposed to be a film about both,” said Destin Daniel Cretton in a virtual press conference for his Marvel directorial debut film. “It’s supposed to be a movie about Asian culture and an MCU film.”
Cretton, who is Japanese-American, went on to say that a lot of his life experiences through the lens of his racial identity helped tell the film’s story.
“I personally connect with Shang-Chi’s journey because he doesn’t get splashed with superhero juice,” he said. “He’s a person who is in a lot of ways running away from the pain in his life [which is a very big part of Asian culture].”
Cretton is referring to the difficulty of Asians specifically dealing with negative life experiences and properly processing it, much of which stems from the fact that Asians don’t have the knowledge or privilege of doing so since previous generations didn’t have those learnings either.
He continued, “It isn’t until he is able to confront his past hurts does he get his big boy shoes and powers to save himself and others.”
The rest of the cast and crew like Shang-Chi himself, played by Simu Liu, echoed the sentiment separately as well saying that it would be a win even more so if Asian-Americans see the film can connect on that deeper level and appreciate that you’re not alone in your own superhero journeys.
Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” comes to theaters on September 3. Look for our spoiler-free review of the film shortly.