Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to be released on September 3, 2021, but marketing for the film has yet to officially start. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the film will follow the origin story of Simu Liu's titular martial artist alongside the introduction of the real Mandarin in the form of Tony Leung's Wenwu.
So far, plot details of Shang-Chi are still being kept under wraps, with information only coming from several plot leaks and tie-in merchandise in the past months. Aside from that, it's no secret that the film will be bannered by an all-Asian cast, marking the first time that this will happen in an MCU project.
While it's already been teased that promotion for Shang-Chi will likely start anytime now, a new batch of merchandise has surfaced that could hint at the characters that will be involved.
SHANG-CHI'S FUNKO LEAK
Twitter user SCBRMidia uncovered a new batch of unreleased Funko Pops! for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
The post revealed a slew of new characters for the upcoming MCU film such as Florian Munteanu's Razor Fist, Fala Chen's Jiang Li, and Awkwafina's Katy. However, one of the interesting additions is a dragon named The Great Protector, seemingly hinting that this will be the titular hero's ally in the movie.
A DRAGON AFFAIR
Based on this reveal, it looks like Shang-Chi's narrative will not only focus on the conflict between Simu Liu's Marvel hero and the Mandarin, but it will also dive deep into the dragon lore of the MCU. It was heavily rumored that Fin Fang Foom, a powerful dragon alien, will make its big-screen debut in the film, and the existence of The Great Protector could strongly hint that this story beat will happen.
Interestingly, it was previously rumored that The Valley of the Sleeping Dragon, the resting place of Fin Fang Foom, will be featured in Shang-Chi in some form. By connecting the dots, it looks like The Great Protector will have its own place of settlement, and this could be where Shang-Chi will discover the secrets behind the dragons of the MCU.
It's possible that the Mandarin will be the one who will awaken Fin Fang Foom, leading to a team-up that will spell trouble for Shang-Chi. That being said, there's a strong chance that the Marvel hero will find ways to discover if there is another dragon that has yet to be uncovered, and his research could lead him to The Great Protector.
It's reasonable to assume that the final showdown of Shang-Chi will involve a dragon/master battle between the core characters, and it will no doubt be a visual treat if it does.
All in all, Shang-Chi is shaping up to be a film like no other, and it seems poised to be one of the impressive additions in the MCU's expansive slate.