Phase 4 had its fair share of delays over the past year due to the pandemic, and one of the projects that were greatly affected was Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the film is set to feature the first Asian protagonist of the MCU in the form of Simu Liu's titular hero, marking a historic debut for the superhero franchise. 

Originally, Shang-Chi was supposed to come out on February 12, 2021, but the ongoing health crisis derailed that plan. It was initially moved to July 2021, but the unpredictability of COVID-19 forced the film to be delayed to September 3, 2021

Barring any more delays, it seems that the September release timeline will stick, and this claim was further bolstered by the launch of the film's marketing. Liu unveiled the first official poster of Shang-Chi through a social media post, and it looks like the movie's promotion will not stop there due to the emergence of official images from an exclusive report. 

A STUNNING LOOK AT MARVEL'S SHANG-CHI

Entertainment Weekly posted the first batch of stills for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, showing off a fresh look at the main cast members of the MCU film. 

Simu Liu as Shang-Chi
Marvel Studios

 Simu Liu prepares to battle an unknown foe in this official still from Shang-Chi

Tony Leung as Wenwu
Marvel Studios

Tony Leung's Wenwu a.k.a. The Mandarin looks menacing in this new image from Shang-Chi

Shang-Chi cast
Marvel Studios 

Awkafina and Meng’er Zhang make their MCU debut in Shang-Chi as Katy and Xialing respectively, and it looks like both women will serve as trusted allies of the titular Marvel hero. 

THE MCU'S FIRST ASIAN SUPERHERO

After several leaks from the film's merchandise, the promotion for Shang-Chi has ramped up in less than a day, and so far, it has delivered.

In the past months, fans have been trying to piece together what the Simu Liu-led project will be all about, but this first batch of stills from the movie, alongside the first trailer and poster, should help in understanding its core premise. 

The design of Shang-Chi's suit in the film looks stunning, and its color palette stays true to the comic-book roots of the character.

Given that the actor is all bruised up in one of the images, it's reasonable to assume that this could be taken from the final battle of the movie. This makes narrative sense since early MCU films established the idea that the final suit of the hero will appear in the culminating fight. 

The image of Tony Leung's Mandarin might not offer many hints about the plot, but there's a sense of foreshadowing that the battle between him and Shang-Chi will be heartbreaking to watch.

The trailer established the premise that the two characters are basically father and son, and the teary-eyed look of the Mandarin in the official still could hint that he is not ready to tear that dynamic down. 

All in all, Shang-Chi will definitely break some hearts along the way while also cementing its place as a top-notch MCU film due to its martial arts prowess. 

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