Of the many exciting new titles that will be arriving in the next few years from Marvel Studios, the one that I am looking forward to the most is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The film sees Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience) as the title character who will fight the Ten Rings – the mysterious terrorist organization who kidnapped Tony Stark in the first Iron Man, had its name used in a sham in Iron Man 3, and partially revealed itself in the Iron Man one-shot “All Hail the King.”
While it is way too early to reveal too many details, director Destin Daniel Cretton is talking more about the film, what it represents, and hiring Bill Pope as the film’s cinematographer. More on all of this below.
Cretton spoke exclusively to Collider about why he chose Pope as the film’s cinematographer:
“Yeah. He has a really beautiful style, that’s both naturalistic and grounded, but also heightened, in the best way. And anybody who can shoot The Matrix is probably gonna do great with this one.”
Considering the tonal influences of The Matrix, Cretton felt that hiring Pope was the right decision because of the cinematographer’s previous work on the films and the fact that it will be the MCU’s first Asian/Asian-American film.
That simply has gotten me more excited to see this. Not only has Pope worked on the Matrix trilogy, he has also worked with Edgar Wright on films like Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and The World’s End. Additionally, he’s worked on Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book.
But on the representation side of things, Cretton spoke about how this film would allow Asian/Asian-Americans to see themselves on screen:
“It would have been amazing because I would have been able to have a superhero that looked like me, rather than choosing the superheroes that I could imagine looking like me, under the mask. I was really into Spider-Man, or even the Incredible Hulk, because they I could picture myself under the Spider-Man mask, or as The Hulk because, when he was The Hulk, he was not really specific to any ethnicity. So, it’ll be nice to give that kid somebody who he can at least say, ‘Oh, that one looks like me.’”
I can certainly relate to him liking Spider-Man. Not only because of his superhuman abilities, but it was because that it could have been anyone underneath the mask – something that was emphasized in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. But that’s an entirely different conversation for a later time.
Anyways, this will be an exciting new chapter for the MCU as it begins a new journey with more diverse voices.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opens in theaters on February 12, 2021.