‘Shang-Chi’ director pitched it as ‘Good Will Hunting’ with Asian people

shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten rings

When you think of the movies that served as the inspiration for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the respective back catalogues of many famed martial arts stars come to mind, in terms of how the kinetic action sequences balanced hard-hitting fights with lashings of physical comedy.

The fantastical elements and CGI f*ckery that dominated the third act showdown was ripped straight from the Marvel Cinematic Universe playbook, though, but director Destin Daniel Cretton has outlined another one of his inspirations, which you probably wouldn’t pick up on from watching the film.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the filmmaker admitted that due to a lack of Asian representation in Hollywood when it came to the type of story he wanted to tell, Cretton used imagery from Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Good Will Hunting to get his point across that Shang-Chi was a story about family first and foremost.

“I didn’t think it necessarily was going to be something that Marvel wanted. It was a very intimate pitch about a relationship between a father and a son and a family learning how to come together again with their pain.”

Kevin Feige followed that up by revealing that once Cretton had brought up the Good Will Hunting references, he exclaimed, “Like this! But with Asian people”. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings might be a $150 million comic book adaptation, but at the end of the day the crux of the narrative is about the title hero, Xu Xialing and Wenwu being torn apart and changed forever in the wake of a shared tragedy, so it kind of makes sense.