‘Shang-Chi’ director talks about dealing with the doubters

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings shattered everyone’s expectations when it opened with a $140 million weekend back in September. From doubts over representation, lack of love interest, and an inexperienced lead, the number of negative outliers, as well as doubters, seemed to paint the film in a worrying light.

Now, with the announcement of both a sequel and a Disney Plus show, director Destin Daniel Cretton talks with Collider about the doubters of Shang-Chi.

Cretton tells Collider in an exclusive interview that he was terrified from day one of filming, noting that he felt as if he had stepped into a sea of people that he did not know and was overwhelmed by the cranes, cameras, and big sets. And on top of that, Cretton was set to film with the legend Tony Leung on his first day. In his one-on-one interview, Cretton explained the obstacles he had to overcome with the film.

“There were so many landmines with this movie, early on. Even within the Asian community, there were so many people who were like, “Why are you doing this movie?'”

And it didn’t stop there, for months this film was plagued with naysayers and general viewers who believed the film didn’t serve a purpose. However, Cretton spoke widely on the doubt he was faced with from the beginning.

“We really saw the potential to create something, a character, that would be not only beneficial to the Asian American community, but something that I think I could be proud of and would be a character that I wish I had when I was a kid growing up. I do feel very proud of our team for being sensitive and being open and listening to the voices of people from different cultures on our production to create something that I think anybody can relate to and that people outside of our culture can learn some things, but also can see these characters as people that they can identify with.” 

Now with Shang-Chi on Blu-ray, the success of Shang-Chi is obvious, having made over $400 million worldwide and the just-announced news of both a sequel and a Disney Plus show, it’s easy to see the doubters were wrong.

But the success of Shang-Chi hasn’t gone to Cretton’s head, as he told Collider that he had to redefine his stance on the idea since filming this latest MCU entry.

“I define my success by the time that we finish the movie completely. When all of the creative is done, if I feel like I have been fulfilled by that process, personally, and if I feel like our team has worked together really well and done everything we possibly could to make the best version of this story possible, then I feel like we’ve succeeded. I feel like we really did do that on this movie, and everything else has been a very pleasant surprise.”

It’s clear to see that though this film was, and to some extent still is, surrounded by doubters, there are more fans that proved this film was a major success both at the box office and on streaming. Now all fans have to do is wait for Shang-Chi to return, which Cretton confesses to Collider that they are still planning.

“I’ve done [zero]. It’s a fun place to be right now. Everything is a possibility. We’re just tossing very loose ideas around and we’ll start to hone in on something, hopefully.”

Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings is available on all major digital platforms and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD.