Phase 4 kicks into full gear in just over a month.
While Black Widow ushered in a new era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the first film set after the events of the Infinity Saga to come out this year. The movie also represents the first time Marvel is introducing a completely new character since 2019's Captain Marvel.
Unlike Black Widow, September's MCU installment has had a limited marketing campaign. With the unpredictable nature of cinemas in 2021, Marvel Studios has been extremely patient when it comes to pulling the trigger on advertising its upcoming feature films.
Just ask Spider-Man fans.
That said, the studio seems confident in Shang-Chi making its September 3, 2021 release date. Aside from new TV spots and featurettes, a pair of new magazine covers for the Master of Kung-Fu have just hit shelves.
ALL EYES ON SHANG-CHI
It is officially Shang-Chi season.
The first of two magazine covers from Empire spotlight titular star Simu Liu alongside Awkwafina's Katy and Meng'er Zhang's Xialing.
'THE MCU'S MARTIAL-ARTS SPECTACULAR'
Both magazine covers spotlight Simu Liu unlike he's ever been before. The Kim's Convenience actor has yet to have a major motion-picture showcase, but if the buzz around Shang-Chi is anything to go off of, this will be the first of many.
The covers themselves don't reveal anything new to fans, but they do indicate the hierarchy of screen time in the upcoming film. Being the titular role, Liu is expected to command the most attention, and Awkwafina's Katy being by his side in most trailer footage suggests she will be a top supporting character.
That said, Meng'er Zhang being prominent on the cover hints at Xialing having a major role. Shang-Chi's estranged sister has only appeared in a few trailer frames, with most of her footage pointing to her being Shang-Chi's opponent in the mysterious fighting pit. With her by her brother's side here, fans could be looking at a unified sibling front as they aim to take down their father, Tony Leung's Mandarin.
Katy also dons a costume unlike her street clothes from previous marketing material. Awkwafina has noted that Katy is "discovering things about herself" in this film. This journey of self-exploration could lead to Katy becoming a martial artist of her own.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters on September 3, 2021.