MCU Director Teases How Shang-Chi's Superpowers Will Rival Avengers'

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Shang-Chi with Avengers

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings appears to be one of the most unique films in the MCU's Phase 4 line-up as Marvel once again tackles another genre for the first time. Throughout the 13 years of the MCU, fans have been treated to political thrillers, period pieces, romantic comedies, and now, martial arts spectacles.

However, it seems that in classic Marvel fashion, Shang-Chi's cinematic debut will be a lot more than just a martial arts film as evidence is continuing to build that Simu Liu's hero will have surprise powers and abilities in the blockbuster film.


Shang-Chi Captain America Sam Wilson

During an interview with Empire Magazine, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton teased that Simu Liu's new hero will be “on par with other superheroes in the MCU.” 

Cretton described Shang-Chi as an “incredible martial artist” but also “so much more than that,” potentially hinting at the self-cloning superpowers the character is rumored to have in the film that will put him "on par" with other Avengers:

“It was important for us from the beginning to have the MCU’s first Asian-American superhero be a superhero. We want him to be on par with other superheroes in the MCU and not just be the master of kung fu. Shang-Chi is an incredible martial artist, but he’s so much more than that.”

Additionally, the director revealed the martial arts blockbuster will show “authenticity and respect” to the genre with choreography and fight scenes inspired by films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and legends like Jackie Chan:

“Authenticity and respect and staying true to this genre was the main objective from day one. There’s choreography that’s reminiscent of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and other fight scenes are inspired by Jackie Chan. We also had choreographers from mainland China who created some beautiful wuxia-style fight scenes.”

On top of Cretton's intriguing comments, Empire's exclusive also featured a new image from the September release, showcasing Simu Liu's Shang-Chi in an orientally-designed martial arts temple:

Shang-Chi New Image, Simu Liu
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings



The footage released from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings so far has highlighted the martial arts aspects of the film, showing off Simu Liu's Asian-American hero as a true master of the arts. However, it seems the MCU's next Avenger may have more tricks up his sleeve than fans are currently anticipating as his superpowers could be translated from comics into live-action.

As a part of his unique fighting style and power set, Shang-Chi has historically been able to create clones of himself while they all still maintain his expert mind and skill. Liu has already teased his character having powers in the film since he previously shared his belief that the martial artist could go toe-to-toe with the strongest Avengers, promising hidden powers and abilities for the hero.

With the September debut of Shang-Chi still several months down the line, there are sure to be plenty more trailers and images to come before the film hits theaters. It remains a possibility these powers should be showcased before release, however, the cryptic nature of these comments seems to indicate they will be saved as a surprise for the long-awaited theatrical release.

Given Shang-Chi is Marvel's first cinematic attempt at tackling a martial arts film, it's exciting to see Cretton taking strong inspiration from the biggest films and best actors in the genre. Meanwhile, the choice to use crew from mainland China to create authentic fight sequences will certainly add to the quality of the film's action and its authenticity to the craft.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to hit theaters on September 3, 2021.

Release Date
September 03, 2021
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.