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Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi’: Premiere Date, Cast, Plot Details, & More

Marvel's Phase IV is a new world for the ongoing comic-based franchise. After spending the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe focusing mainly on white male superheroes, Phase IV is deliberately embracing a more diverse pantheon. That includes the full set of Eternals characters coming at the beginning of 2021, as well as Marvel's Shang-Chi & The Legend Of The Ten Rings, which should follow later in the spring.

Marvel isn't just diversifying in front of the camera. Shang-Chi is helmed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the Asian American director behind such films as The Glass Castle and the Michael B. Jordan vehicle Just Mercy. The upcoming movie stars rising Canadian-Chinese star Simu Liu as Marvel's first on-screen Asian superhero to lead his own film.

Filming for Shang-Chi had only just gotten underway in Australia when the coronavirus pandemic shut everything down. But there's good news for those worried this might lead to delays. According to Collider, Sydney’s 7NEWS recently reported filming is gearing back up to continue, as the island continent has gotten its caseload under control. If all goes to schedule, Shang-Chi could be back to filming by the end of August.

But what can fans expect from Shang-Chi once it arrives? Let's run down everything we know about the upcoming Marvel film.

Marvel's 'Shang-Chi & The Legend Of The Ten Rings' Teaser

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There's no trailer yet for Marvel's Shang-Chi, and that's most likely because filming is still ongoing. Production was underway at the beginning of 2020, but the global pandemic forced all of Hollywood to close down, including all the Marvel films.

The good news is, filming is set to pick back up soon. If the schedule holds, fans could see first footage before the end of 2020.

Marvel's 'Shang-Chi & The Legend Of The Ten Rings' Cast

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Shang-Chi brings a brand new character and story to the Marvelverse, arriving for the first time in Phase IV, with actor Simu Liu as Shang-Chi. Since then, there have been a few more names added. Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians) Rosalind Chao (The Joy Luck Club), Awkwafina (The Farewell), and Ronny Chieng (The Daily Show) have all been confirmed to be in the film.

Additionally, there will be one character who ties the film back to the Marvelverse's initial first three phases. Tony Leung (Lust, Caution) will play the Mandarin. Fans will remember a false version of the Mandarin was a lead character in Iron Man 3, with Ben Kingsley as an actor who'd been hired to stand in for the legendary baddie. Now Marvel will introduce the real deal.

Marvel's 'Shang-Chi & The Legend Of The Ten Rings' Plot Details

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Marvel has been cagey about Shang-Chi's plot details, but fans have a good idea where the film is heading, based on the title The Legend Of The Ten Rings.

The Ten Rings do not refer to jewelry, but instead a shadowy secret organization hell-bent on destroying the world. This is the terrorist group mentioned in Iron Man 3 as associated with the Mandarin, though no one knows much about it. How exactly it will fit into the new film remains to be seen.

Marvel's 'Shang-Chi & The Legend Of The Ten Rings' Theories

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The Ten Rings have been a running easter egg throughout the three phases of the Marvel Infinity saga, running back to the original Iron Man film. Fans have theorized this will form the initial set of callbacks throughout the Shang-Chi film, as every minor character who ever sported a Ten Rings tattoo throughout the series makes a cameo.

The Iron Man connection has also given rise to the idea that Shang-Chi might have another cameo: War Machine. Tony Stark's right-hand man is one of the few who doesn't have a new outlet in the developing Phase 4, unlike Happy, who moved to Spider-Man, or Falcon and Winter Soldier, who got their own spinoff TV series. Adding War Machine to Shang-Chi would help tie in the new character while keeping actor Don Cheadle involved in the Marvel universe.

'Shang-Chi & The Legend Of The Ten Rings' Premiere Date

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Shang-Chi was initially slated to take the Black Panther release slot, booked for Feb. 12, 2021. That placed it after The Eternals in November, but before Dr. Strange 2 in May.

The pandemic has since upended all that. Black Widow was delayed from May of 2020 and rescheduled into the Eternals' November berth, causing everything to slide back one spot.

That's good news for Shang-Chi, which currently is sitting pretty in the legendary "first weekend in May" release space of May 7, 2021. Hopefully, with filming starting back up, there will be no more delays. Otherwise, Shang-Chi could slide back as far as November if everything is pushed back again.