Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi’ Lands Director Destin Daniel Cretton

As Marvel seemingly uses Avengers: Endgame to wrap up its first successful franchises consisting of the Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America trilogies, the question remains: What comes next? Another Doctor Strange movie is almost definite, as is another Spider-Man film following Far From Home — and there’s always the Black Widow solo flick to look forward to. But heading into its next phase, Marvel has another, not often discussed property to consider. Here’s what we know about Shang-Chi, including its new director.  

Destin Daniel Cretton
Destin Daniel Cretton | Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Who is Shang-Chi?

The Master of Kung Fu has been a member of the Avengers as well as Heroes for Hire (as referenced in the now-canceled Marvel Netflix properties Luke Cage and Iron Fist). The character is from China, the offspring of a white American woman and a Chinese father who trained him in martial arts. His abilities are primarily rooted in his martial arts skills — however, he does at one point earn the ability to create duplicates of himself following exposure to radiation.

Marvel announced the film way back in 2005 when it first revealed the properties it was planning to revitalize with what is now the MCU. Aside from Power Pack, Shang-Chi was the only property originally listed that has not yet come to fruition.

Destin Daniel Cretton will direct Shang-Chi

On March 13, 2019, Destin Daniel Cretton was announced as the director of the upcoming Shang-Chi. As reported by IndieWire, this is the first property in the MCU to feature an Asian lead superhero as well as a predominately Asian cast. Cretton joins writer Dave Callaham (who also penned the screenplay for the upcoming DC film Wonder Woman 1984). It was important for Marvel to have two Asian filmmakers behind the scenes (Callaham is of Chinese descent, while Cretton is half Japanese).

What else has Cretton done?

Cretton has worked on short films for much of his career, helming his first feature in 2012 with I Am Not a Hipster, which he wrote, directed, produced, and edited. In 2013, he went on to adapt his 2008 short film Short Term 12 into a feature, to much acclaim. Cretton wrote and directed The Glass Castle, based on the memoir of the same name, in 2017. He has another biographical drama in the works: Just Mercy, starring Michael B. Jordan, is scheduled for a Jan. 2020 release.

The stars of Short Term 12 are doing very well for themselves

Like their director, many of the stars of the film Short Term 12 have all gone on to have successful careers. Brie Larson, who portrayed Grace in the film, is also a member of the MCU, having recently debuted in Captain Marvel. Rami Malek, who played newcomer Nate in the movie, went on to star on Mr. Robot and just won an Oscar for his turn as Freddie Mercury in the musical biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

Stephanie Beatriz, who had a small role as Jessica, currently stars on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and recently directed her first episode of the series. The teen whom Grace connects with, Jayden, is played by Kaitlyn Dever, who starred on TV series Justified and Last Man Standing, as well as in the upcoming film Booksmart. And Lakeith Stanfield, whose role as Marcus was his first on film, has gone on to star in acclaimed films such as Get Out and Sorry to Bother You. If his past successes say anything, it’s that Shang-Chi is destined to be a well-cast, captivating film.

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