Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings arrives in theaters tomorrow. The latest MCU adventure promises magical martial arts action and some fun throwdowns between existing characters, with the trailer teasing a bout between The Incredible Hulk‘s Abomination and Doctor Strange‘s Wong.
This will be Abomination’s first appearance since his 2008 debut in the second-ever MCU movie, fulfilling the promise of his return made at the end of The Incredible Hulk. This kind of continuity is always fun, but – thanks to a new interview with producer Jonathan Schwartz – we now know exactly why the Shang-Chi team wanted to bring him back:
“We sort of knew, [director] Destin [Daniel Cretton] and I, that there had to be a big, kind of showcasing fight between two known characters in there, and it just became this big talk with us in talking about who made sense, and who’d be cool, and who we would think it would be a good fight between, and we ended up with wanting Abomination because it seemed to make the most story sense for where we’re going to find him in this universe, and also, just be a cool, awesome fight.
And it fell along those lines, like it was a good time to refresh Abomination’s look. We haven’t seen him for a while, so I think everyone was excited to kind of see him at all in weird glory.”
While Abomination has evolved to look more like his comics counterpart in the 13 years since we last saw him, some things remain the same. For example, despite him being stuck in his ‘monstrous’ form, we have confirmation that Tim Roth has returned to voice him.
All that should be fun, though there’s currently a dark cloud hanging over the movie. Box office projections predict that Shang-Chi will be one of the lowest-grossing MCU movies to date and have a particularly disappointing opening weekend. Much of that is down to the Delta variant continuing to wreak havoc and wary members of the public staying away from crowded places.
Or at least that’s what Marvel Studios will hope is the reason. There’s also an outside chance that post-Endgame audiences are getting a bit of superhero fatigue, especially as judging from the trailers Shang-Chi isn’t offering much new. But the proof will be in the pudding, so let’s wait until the weekend.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters on September 3.