Shang-Chi Writer Says Early Drafts Were Too Crazy For Marvel

shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten rings

In its broadest strokes, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings follows a template we’ve seen many times before from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A reluctant hero with some serious daddy issues has turned his back on the destiny chosen for him, but when the third act arrives he learns that he must embrace who he was born to be in order to save the world.

So far, so standard, but director Destin Daniel Cretton and writer Dave Callaham also thrown in plenty of weirdness. Trevor Slattery gets an animal sidekick named Morris that doesn’t have a face, Wenwu is an immortal warlord that’s been conquering for millennia, and of course there are goddamn dragons and demons in the third act.

Despite all of that, Callaham revealed in a recent interview with Yahoo! Entertainment that his earliest drafts of the screenplay were deemed a little too out-there, with producer Jonathan Schwartz urging the scribe to rein it in.

“We were doing some pretty weird stuff at the beginning before Jonathan kind of pulled us back. He knows the world. I think Destin and I, when we got there, were like ‘We can do anything! It’s Marvel!’. No idea was off the table to begin with, to be honest, which was really cool of Marvel, to let the team explore a little bit, and then eventually they tell you ‘You can’t do that, that’s too crazy’, or ‘We’re doing that somewhere else, but we can’t talk about it’, that kind of thing.”

A martial arts fantasy superhero action epic reads as more than enough, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings isn’t without its regular sojourns into outlandish and bizarre territory, so Callaham must have been throwing some pretty zany concepts into the mix if the studio were asking him to pull back.