In July of last year at San Diego Comic-Con, Destin Daniel Cretton was announced as the director of Marvel Studios' twenty-sixth film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Cretton is best known for his work on Short Term 12, The Glass Castle and most recently, Just Mercy, a movie that follows a young lawyer’s history-making battle for justice. The director has now expanded on the family themes that fans can expect to see in Marvel Studios' Shang-Chi film.
In Episode 85 of Jeff Yang & Phil Yu's They Call Us Bruce podcast, Cretton explained to the hosts that while Marvel Studios' Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is “a very different type of movie than Just Mercy,” the two films do still share similar views on family, according to Cretton:
“In the same vein, the emotional aspect and the ideas of camaraderie, family, and connection is something that will definitely be a part of this movie,”
The director also expressed enthusiasm for almost all of his cast members being Asian or of Asian descent:
"It's really exciting to just be a part of another movie that's going to put some new faces up on the screen. I didn't even know why I loved Spider-Man until I was old enough to realize I couldn't see his face, and I could imagine myself underneath that mask. There weren't any Asian faces to identify with in the superhero world. So to be able to give a new generation an option is really cool."
WHAT THIS MEANS
The director's statement on family and camaraderie is a very encouraging sign, as family ideals have always been a recurring theme in the MCU. In Marvel Studios’ Thor, fans were introduced to Thor & Loki, two brothers who believed that they were the rightful heir to their All-Father's throne. Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy also showed us how a thief, two thugs, an assassin and a maniac were able to put aside their differences and become a surrogate family, one that saved the entire galaxy from Ronan the Accuser.
Cretton's comments suggest that audiences can expect to see an accurate depiction of Asian culture in this film, similar to Ryan Coogler's groundbreaking representation of people of color in Marvel Studios' Black Panther. The director's thoughts on family also line up surprisingly well with a recent rumor, as it was previously reported that Shang-Chi might be introduced as the son to The Mandarin in the movie. If true, this would be a huge departure from the source material, as Shang-Chi's father was originally known as the villain Fu Manchu in the Marvel comics.