Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings surprised a lot of people. Not only did it land with unanimous praise across the board, but the film did far better at the box office than anyone would have thought possible in times like these.
Because of the film's massive success, studios have become much more comfortable with the idea of releasing movies with exclusive theatrical debuts. Films such as Venom: Let There Be Carnage actually went back on its recent delay because of it.
One of the most unique parts of the film is the Ten Rings, a newly introduced weapon to the MCU—one which fans have been waiting a long time to see on screen. However, their final form isn't what was expected.
Instead, the creatives behind the film went above and beyond to find a new way to translate them onto the screen. In doing so, they also had to figure what colors would fit best for not only the weapon but also those who wielded it.
Alternate Colors for Shang-Chi's Ten Rings
Marvel's Lorrain Cink sat down with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings VFX Supervisor Christopher Townsend, where they discussed the process of choosing which character would wield what color of energy for the Ten Rings.
As pictured above, Tony Leung's Wenwu ended up airing on the blue side, with Simu Liu's Shang-Chi being more on the orange/gold side of the line. According to Townsend, "find[ing] the correct colors... was kinda tricky:"
"So trying to find the correct colors for Shang-Chi when he uses the rings, and for when Wenwu uses the rings, was kinda tricky. Coming down to color specifically, we ended up with the golds for Shang-Chi, and sort of a purple-ish blue for Wenwu as sort of our two key colors."
Some alternate colors for Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings can be seen in the pre-vis models above. That golden-orange glow was clearly one of the top contenders—it's easy to see how the green wasn't picked as it is reminiscent of Doctor Strange's use of the Time Stone and also a little bit of Loki's trickery.
Four more colors show off some that are close to what became reality, with the top two light purple hues somewhat resembling the color given to Wenwu. The bottom two orangish-red designs are even closer to what fans saw in the film.
It was more than just color, as the rings also behaved differently with each wielder. When Wenwu used them, the rings were "very spiky and aggressive" while Shang-Chi's use of them translated into "almost silk ribbons of flowing energy:"
"So I think one of the interesting things with the film is how the rings are different for each character. In essence, Wenwu is not necessarily fundamentally evil, but there are sort of aggressive overtones to who he is as a character and so the characterization of those rings was an extension of that. And when Shang-Chi's using the rings, there's almost an aura of goodness about him, so when he's in almost a tug-of-war moment with his father, we see Wenwu, who uses the sort of lightning-based energy, very spiky and aggressive relative to Shang-Chi's almost silk ribbons of glowing energy and flowing and it's a much more gentle serene power."
Shang-Chi's Unique Ten Rings
While many may have had issues with the change from the comics, the way Marvel Studios translated the Ten Rings on-screen worked well. Even better was the color palette that it ended up using.
It's awesome to learn that Marvel went even further and adjusted how the Rings behaved, such as the spikey-ness for Wenwu and the smooth flow for both Shang-Chi and his mother.
With all the exploration of the different colors the weapons could be and how they react, there are plenty of doors to open for future installments when the Ten Rings are further explored. After all, fans are eagerly awaiting to find out what the beacon is, which was teased at the end of the film.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now playing exclusively in theaters worldwide.