Simu Liu's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was a massive departure from the comics. In fact, nearly everything about the adaptation was different than its source material—with the main similarities being the character's name and mastery over martial arts. In many cases, this could present itself as an issue for fans, but here, the obscure character definitely needed some reinvention. After all, the titular character's father was the epitome of a racist caricature in the comics.
Alongside Tony Leung's Mandarin, one of the biggest changes was the Ring Tens themselves. In Marvel Comics, they were literal rings that one worn on the fingers, with each possessing a different mystical power.
If someone reading this is currently thinking to themselves, "that sounds an awful lot like the Infinity Stones," then you'd be on the same page as Marvel Studios. The similarity is what caused the creatives behind the film to completely re-think how the rings looked and functioned. Instead of finger rings, they were reinvented as a form of Hun Gar Iron Rings.
Now, some designs have been revealed that showcase new variations of what fans might have seen in a different timeline for Shang-Chi.
Alternate Ten Rings Revealed for Shang-Chi
Marvel Studios concept artist Jared Marantz posted some of his designs on ArtStation that showcased alternate versions of the Ten Rings used by Simu Lui's leading hero in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Marantz mentioned how he "was surprised" to be put on these, as "[he doesn't] usually get the opportunity to work on props." However, in the end, the final designs went to "[his] good friend Jackson Sze:"
"I got a chance to work on the rings for Shang Chi. I was surprised that my buddy Andy Park put me on these. I usually don’t get the opportunity to work on props, but these were some pretty important props so I was excited to take a stab at it.My good friend Jackson Sze ended up getting the final design. He did an incredible job on that show."
The most drastically different design featured a golden dragon circling each ring:
Lime green seems to have been Marantz's color of choice, though it's unclear if that was something mandated by Marvel Studios or by his own creative mind. This particular graphic showcases the rings powering up as the glow starts to permeate throughout the weapon:
Many different engravings can be seen in this group of images. As for why the inner ring can detach, that's unclear, but it could have simply been for conceptual purposes.
An attempt can be seen at a cleaner look that adds a modern flair, while toning down the bright green colors:
The final image shows off a mechanism for the rings to latch together on the wearer's arms. In the film, this was done magically, as the rings sat next to each other on the forearm:
Shang-Chi Doesn't Go Green
While orange was the final color chosen for Shang-Chi's powerset, lime green was one of the many in consideration. In fact, there are eight different ones in contention—at least those which are known publically.
It's been discussed several times in relation to various projects, but the color of magic in the MCU is something those at Marvel Studios keep a close eye on. The goal is to remain consistent and make sure each powerset and the energy that it's pulling from is unique and not stepping on anyone's toes. In this case, if these bright green bands had gone through, there would be more than a few similarities drawn.
As for the physical design and engravings on the rings, Marvel Studios went for a more minimalistic approach when compared to these newly revealed concepts. The Dragon rings would have been neat to have and fit right in with all of the Great Protector imagery found throughout the movie.
Hopefully, the origin of these infamous rings will get some more exploration in the inevitable sequel. Could fans finally see Fin Fang Foom and his alien race come to life? Or is the mysterious weapon more tied to the Eternals? Only time will tell.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now steaming on Disney+.