Shang-Chi is coming to the MCU. The franchise’s first Asian superhero will make his debut in his own movie in 2021, with Simu Lui starring as the greatest martial artist in the Marvel universe. And it seems that the studio has big plans for him beyond Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. According to our intel, the hero is being thought of as the MCU’s answer to James Bond.
We Got This Covered has been informed by our source – the same one who revealed the real Mandarin will return in the film, before it was confirmed at Comic-Con – that Marvel intends to take a page out of 007’s book for Shang-Chi. They apparently have plans to make him a secret agent, traveling across the world, defeating terrorist cells like the Ten Rings. The aforementioned group first appeared in 2008’s Iron Man, of course, with Shang-Chi no doubt retroactively linking them to the real Mandarin, who’ll be played in the movie by Tony Leung.
Interestingly, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler has previously said that he was partially inspired by Bond in his movie. It seems the studio likes the idea of going full-on 007 in the future, then, and have now found the perfect hero to do that with. This is just speculation on our part, but the fact that Shang-Chi might be a secret agent in the MCU could also hint at another superhero team appearing down the line.
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This year, Marvel Comics relaunched the Agents of Atlas as an all-Asian super-team, including Shang-Chi. The MCU has always borrowed from recent comic runs, so maybe the plan is for the AoA to turn up in Shang-Chi sequels. After all, the head of Atlas is Jimmy Woo, who was already introduced into the franchise in Ant-Man and the Wasp, as played by Randall Park. He was an FBI agent in that film, but he could easily get a transfer and become Atlas’ version of Phil Coulson.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, also starring Awkwafina, hits theaters on February 21st, 2021. It’s due to start shooting in Australia in early 2020, so we should learn more soon. As always, stay tuned.