‘Shang-Chi’: Were the Movie’s Fight Scenes Inspired by Jackie Chan?

Marvel’s newest addition to the superhero movie universe is the highly anticipated, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Fans are more interested in the main character’s story as Marvel’s first Asian superhero movie. Actor Simu Liu plays the lead role of Shang-Chi, who must confront his past and the mysterious Ten Rings organization. Like many Marvel movies, there is a lot of action and fight sequences. Fans of Hong Kong cinema noticed Shang-Chi’s fighting style resembles one of the industry’s most well-known stuntman and action stars, Jackie Chan.

Simu Liu and Director Destin Daniel Cretton attend the 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' wearing black suit with white dress shirt
Simu Liu and Director Destin Daniel Cretton attend the ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ red carpet | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images via Disney

Shang Chi confronts his forgotten past with the Ten Rings

The Marvel Cinematic Universe movie focuses on Shang-Chi, who was trained in martial arts from a young age to be an assassin by his father. His father happens to be the leader of the Ten Rings, Wenwu (Tony Leung), also known as The Mandarin. The Ten Rings is a terrorist organization seeking to destroy world peace at any means necessary.

No longer being able to live in his father’s shadow of who he wants him to be, Shang-Chi leaves to live a normal life in San Francisco. The movie’s storyline relies upon Shang-Chi not knowing who he is or his purpose. His past comes back to haunt him as Shang-Chi must face his father and the Ten Rings.

The movie’s fight coordinators have worked with Jackie Chan in the past

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A clip of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was released online, showing Shang-Chi using his impressive combat skills. Fans soon noticed that one particular move seemed oddly familiar. In the scene, Shang-Chi flips in and out of his jacket during the bus fight. This move is well-known amongst fans of the legendary stuntman and actor Jackie Chan.

Chan’s Ma Hon Keung does the jacket trick in Rumble in the Bronx from 1995. The trick occurs toward the beginning of the movie when a local gang terrorizes a supermarket. Chan became well-known in cinema for doing his own stunts and using everyday objects in his fighting style. Fans were correct to assume that the movie used Chan’s style. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Andy Cheng, the fight coordinator, has worked with Chan on many occasions. Cheng has been an assistant stunt choreographer on Rush HourRush Hour 2Shanghai NoonWho Am I? and Mr. Nice Guy. The movie’s choreography was also created by Brad Allen, a member of Chan’s stunt team, who died earlier in August.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings pays homage to many martial arts styles and famous action stars from Hong Kong cinema. In a red carpet interview with Variety, director Destin Daniel Cretton said, “I grew up on Jackie Chan movies…the idea of being able to make a movie that paid homage to some of my favorite movies of all time was really daunting but also extremely exciting”.

Jackie Chan fans spotted his style right away

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For Jackie Chan fans, it is easy to spot his iconic style compared to others who may not be familiar with the actor. In the teaser trailer, fans noticed another small homage to Chan’s role in Rush Hour. Two thugs are holding Shang-Chi in the bus and Shang-Chi says the line, “I don’t want any trouble”. Chan’s Rush Hour character says the same line after accidentally insinuating a fight in a bar.

In a Reddit thread, fans have high hopes for the movie’s fight sequences if they are inspired by Chan’s style. Chan’s movies have a habit of including long and uncut fight scenes and one fan remarks, “if you are touting this to be Jackie Chan-esque, do NOT do shaky, quick cuts”. Another Reddit user says that Shang-Chi is a great opportunity to pay homage to classic martial arts movies.