Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has multiple connections to MCU’s past. Let’s talk about how the movie might show them.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will explore multiple aspects from MCU’s previous movies as well as dive further into the world of dragons and mysticism. We have already got clues as to how the movie will make use of these. Let’s talk about them some more.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a part of MCU Phase 4. But its story goes back to Phase 1. Simu Liu will play the role of the first Asian superhero of the MCU. And it will be the beginning of an exploration of a new storyline, one whose roots go deep in the Marvel comics.
Abomination and Shang-Chi
The last few seconds of the second trailer of the film showed a character that fans thought twice before guessing i.e. Abomination AKA Emil Blonsky. We first saw the character in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, played by the awesome Tim Roth. While the movie is not one of MCU’s highly-regarded ones, it did introduce us to our beloved Hulk.
However, that Abomination is the first character from the movie to return to the MCU is not true. We do remember General Ross, don’t we? Played brilliantly by William Hurt, we saw him in Captain America: Civil War and then in Black Widow. And while we do know that Abomination will play a role in the upcoming She-Hulk series, his presence in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a true surprise. We don’t whether Abomination will play a role in the storyline or if he is more of a way to test Shang-Shi’s strength before he faces the Mandarin.
In a recent interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Marvel president Kevin Feige, talking about Abomination, said, “[It’s] a fun thing to have a character that we haven’t had on screen in over a decade show up again in the MCU. And to see fans on that little tag of the trailer recognize that and embrace that is great fun.”
Iron-Man and Mandarin
The Ten Rings is a villainous organization that Obadiah Stane hired to take Tony Stark captive and assassinate him in Iron-Man. In Marvel’s Destiny featurette, Feige says that Tony is “forced to build these weapons for an organization, and that organization was The Ten Rings. And there was this wonderful character that we really wanted to do something with someday, and that was Shang-Chi.” The organization presumably made a comeback in Iron-Man 3 where Tony learns that Mandarin is an actor Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) whom Aldrich Killian hired to pose as his cloak cum terrorist.
The main twist comes in the Marvel short All Hail the King where Trevor learns that the real Mandarin knows about his actions and wants to see him. This also hints at Ben Kingsley’s return for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings for we do hope to see a conversation between the Mandarin and Trevor Slattery. It will be fun!
Shang-Chi and Wong
The fight tournament scene featuring Abomination also showed another recognizable character i.e. Wong (Benedict Wong). We first saw him in Doctor Strange. From a narrative viewpoint, we don’t know how Wong plays in into the storyline but from a cultural viewpoint, it is a visual treat to our favourite Asian actors in the MCU come together to give us a new martial arts superhero movie, the first of its kind in the MCU.
Talking to SYFY Wire, Benedict Wong mentioned how much he wanted to be part of this movie. He stated, “When Shang-Chi was happening, I was so pleased that it was happening but I was a little kind of crestfallen I wasn’t a part of it. And then the call [from Marvel Studios] came. And I was like, ‘Yes!’…it was amazing. And I’m a big fan of all of those artists. Tony Leung (In the Mood for Love) is a massive idol of mine. So it’s been constant surprises, that’s what [the role of Wong] gives me.”
Whether Wong will meet Shang-Chi or Mandarin, we won’t know. But we do hope to see them together. Especially Shang-Chi and Wong fighting together. That would be so cool! Next up, we shall see Wong in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Marvel ultimately set the ball rolling in 2018 after almost two decades of trying to make a Shang-Chi movie. David Callaham was roped in to write the script with Destin Daniel Cretton as the co-writer/director. The production wrapped up in October 2020. The movie will be Marvel’s first step into the martial arts genre, and from the look of the trailers, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is going to be a hell of a ride.
MCU’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings arrives in theatres on September 3, 2021.