It’s about damn time the Shang-Chi teaser trailer has been revealed and it’s worth the wait. In the video, we finally get a glimpse of Simu Liu as the title character, and of all days, on Liu’s birthday.
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, Shang-Chi is the first to feature an Asian superhero as the lead in a superhero film. In the comics, Shang-Chi was a kung fu master who first introduced in 1973 as the son of Fu Manchu, a controversial stereotypical Asian villain that fortunately was retired and changed for the film. In the films, Shang-Chi is the child of Wenwu (Tony Leung), who many in the MCU know as The Mandarin. We last heard about The Mandarin when Sir Ben Kingsley played the fake version of the crime lord in Iron Man 3. But, The Mandarin is very real and was hinted during Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King which followed Kingsley character Trevor Slattery as he’s interviewed by one of The Mandarin’s associates.
The Mandarin is the leader of the terrorist organization, The Ten Rings, which was first teased in Iron Man. Shang-Chi was raised to be the next leader of the Ten Rings, but wanted to find his own place in the world and went to live in San Francisco for a decade. Now, Wenwu has come to retrieve his son.
“I gave you ten years to live your life and where did that get you? You walked in my shadow. I trained you so the most dangerous people in the world couldn’t kill you. Son, it’s time for you to take your place by my side,” Wenwu says in the trailer. Shang-Chi tells his father, as most kids who don’t want to be in the family business, “That’s not going to happen.”
The fight scenes shown in the teaser looks like an epic Chinese martial arts drama mixed with the current Hong Kong action sequences, which makes a lot of sense since Shang-Chi was inspired by Bruce Lee. There are also mythical elements at play, which we see in Wenwu takes part of the action in a forest fight scene, which may be new to the character’s origin as well as an epic battle scene with giant lion beasts involved.
The biggest Easter egg that is shown is Shang-Chi’s powerful weapon, the rings bracelet, which harnesses Shang-Chi’s Qi power to increase his strength. In the comics, it is created by Tony Stark. The Mandarin’s weapons are ten rings he wears on his fingers, each having their own ability, but in one scene, we see him wear bracelets instead. So, Shang-Chi could possibly take some of the rings from his father.
Shang-Chi’s half sister, Xialing, played by Meng’er Zhang, is briefly shown to be sparring with him. In the comics, Zheng Bao Yu is Shang-Chi’s half sister has always rivaled her brother for their father’s affections, but doesn’t always believe in her father’s ideals.
We also get a glimpse of Awkwafina’s character Katy, who we learn is friends with Shang-Chi during his time in San Francisco as we saw them working together and bonding with friends. It is only when he displays his martial arts is when she’s shocked at the idea of who this person she thought she knew, “Who are you?”
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opens in theaters on September 3.