Marvel rescues another hero from comic book limbo

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (UCM) continues to expand, not only film and commercial, but also cultural. And it is that in that kind of Big Bang of superheroes, fantastic stories and unimaginable adventures, born as editorial products and now transformed into blockbuster movies, there is also a part of Eastern philosophy.

On Shang-Chi and the legend of the 10 rings, tape that arrives with vibrant soundtracks, dazzling action scenes and a colorful display of elements of Chinese culture, the bet was on evoking on the big screen the imagination of the creators of the original comic, writer Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin.

The plot begins after the events that occurred in Avengers: Endgame (2019), when Shang-Chi, master of Kung Fu, is attracted by the clandestine organization of the Ten Rings -which he attacked in Iron Man against Tony Stark’s life – and forced to confront his past.

Kevin Feige, producer of the film, comments: “We did not build this universe from scratch, there was something called comics … The dream was to take that to the cinema. I was lucky enough to be involved in the first movies of Spider-Man and X-Men, as in those of Iron Man. And I think that, at that time, choosing Robert Downey Jr. was the biggest and best risk we took; since then it has been the most important thing in the founding of the UCM. Without Robert we would not be sitting here today ”.

The producer explains that this adventurous beginning is now a reference in the casting to select those who will be the new Marvel superheroes. Such is the case of the protagonist of Shang-Chi and the legend of the 10 rings, the Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu, who years ago, as a teenager and a tenacious fan of Marvel, tweeted to the official account of the franchise to get a chance in his films.

Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu has been a Marvel fan since his teens (MARVEL STUDIOS)

“Unfortunately,” Feige laughs, “that rumor among Internet users is not true: it was not Simu’s tweets, but his acting skills, his constant professionalism and various readings and meetings, which made it possible for him to get the role.”

In addition to all the freshness and excitement generated by the appearance of new superheroes with deep pasts, what makes this installment a true sample of what fans expect? Perhaps, the fact of being a story whose authors, the director Destin Daniel Cretton, the screenwriter Dave Callaham and Feige himself, introduce themes such as memory, ancestry and loss in a family environment that becomes plural and reaches the heart of a culture.

The UCM family
“When I got to the set my nerves were through the roof, I felt constantly living with the impostor syndrome, in the face of such talents from the cast. I am an actor from Toronto, and I had never really allowed myself to imagine being part of the MCU. I think it’s the craziest dream anyone can have, ”says Simu Liu about her first interactions with the Shang-Chi character.

An important aspect of acting in a film with high levels of action and that celebrates martial arts was the physical preparation of the actors, including the best friend of the hero, Katy, played by the American actress of Chinese and South Korean descent Nora Lum . A character who, since his appearance on the scene, manages to make great strides with the focus of attention.

Likewise, the first actor Ben Kingsley, whose expected participation as Trevor Slattery also becomes notable in Shang-Chi and the legend of the 10 rings, highlights the richness of the story and the characters: “I believe that this story, because it is so beautifully told and it is so rich, will ultimately be curative because it is not propaganda. It is really beautiful. As an actor, and Trevor, of course, who is also an actor in the film, we are transported to a completely exotic environment that we survive, so we are kind of Shakespearean actors. “

About the fact that his colleagues were from different cultures, says the unforgettable protagonist of Gandhi: “That was completely irrelevant. We are actors together. We live from empathy and transformation. And this is our currency. And if we can demonstrate that energy, I think that ultimately it will be comforting and healing; people will forget, actually realize, that there is very little difference in our hearts. “

Shang-Chi and the legend of the 10 rings opens in Venezuela today September 3, 2021. It is the second launch of the Marvel calendar this year after Black Widow. The agenda will continue with Eternals, on October 28, and Spider-Man: No way home, on December 16.

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Marvel rescues another hero from comic book limbo