Jackie Chan to Star in MCU’s ‘Shang-Chi’ as Zheng Zu: Marvel Leak or Lie?

Ever since San Diego Comic-Con, fans have been theorizing all the whos, whats, whens, wheres, and whys that have yet to be determined concerning the MCU’s Phase 4. During Comic-Con, Marvel president Kevin Feige revealed that a Shang-Chi-inspired film will be coming our way, under the title Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. 

MCU Shang-Chi Announcement Comic-Con
MCU Shang-Chi Announcement Comic-Con | Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Dustin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12, The Glass Castle, I Am Not a Hipster) will direct the film, and Simu Liu is set to star alongside Awkwafina and Tony Leung. However, this leaves several characters, including one iconic comic book presence, unaccounted for. 

Since Tony Leung is set to play The Mandarin (the real non-Iron-Man persona), many are wondering who will play the notorious villain Zheng-Zhu: Shang Chi’s main foe and father in the comic books, as well as a master martial artist who attempted to take over the world on more than one occasion. 

While Awkwafina’s role is still unspecified, many have been led to believe that she does not fit the description (when accounting for age, gender, etc). A recent rumor has begun to spread that Zheng-Zhu will have a small role in the movie, and Jackie Chan will portray the character. So, is the rumor true? 

How the Zheng Zu/Jackie Chan rumor all started

Several publications have begun spreading the idea that Jackie Chan is in “negotiations” to play the notorious Shang-Chi; however, the root of the information traces back to a Twitter account, and the account is not a verified one. Furthermore, according to Reddit Users — including those familiar with reliable Marvel leakers — the source is not to be trusted. 

Many Reddit users chimed in to say the news is fake or, at best, based upon a very weak lead. While it is more than possible that the rumor started with reliable information, until the origin is a source known for spreading truths (like the DisInsider), you may not want to get your hopes up for Jackie Chan.

Though Jackie Chan would be a great addition to the MCU and an actor whose sheer presence would bring about feeling of grand nostalgia, there is one reason Zheng Zu may not appear in the MCU at all. 

Why Zheng Zu may not be present in the MCU’s Shang-Chi

In the Marvel comics, Zheng Zu is also known by the name Fu Manchu, and he is Shang-Chi’s father. The character is a Chinese criminal and super-spy; however, his depiction is reliant upon racist ideologies and stereotypes. The character, if presented in his original form, would not be acceptable, and should not be accepted, in today’s society.

Including Fu Machu, as he was, would be offensive on many accounts. However, fans have been led to believe that The Mandarin will be the main villain, and Zheng Zu will have a small role, with a new backstory and characterization (for the sake of satisfying fans who simply want to see the notorious villain make his way to the silver screen).

If Zheng Zu is altered, and The Mandarin works alongside him, Jackie Chan would evidently be a ticket-selling casting choice; however, as of now, Jackie Chan’s involvement in the movie is no more than a rumor that started on Twitter, with support from various other social media outlets, and quickly grew traction.