It’s hard to believe that we are just over one month away from the premiere of Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on September 3rd!
With a teaser trailer and a full trailer already released, we’re squarely in the phase of the marketing where the spot ads will be revealed with increasing frequency. The first of those spots, titled “Need” focuses more on the central conflict between Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi and his father Wenwu (also known as The Mandarin), played by Hong Kong icon Tony Leung.
Two things stood out to me about this spot – the beginning and the end. It starts with Awkwafina’s Katy asking her friend Shang-Chi what happened to his shirt, to which he responds with an exasperated shrug. Fans of Liu from his hit sitcom Kim’s Convenience (RIP) will immediately recognize that this moment is a reference to an on-going bit between the cast members regarding Liu’s penchant for taking pictures without his shirt. I absolutely love that the joke lives on in this film, and it’s a very welcome nod to Liu’s fans from the show. It also provides a glimpse of the humor we can expect from the film, which should be no surprise given that Marvel Studios cast Awkwafina in a major role.
The spot provides an extended look at the fight in the San Francisco bus between Shang-Chi and Florian Munteanu’s Razor Fist, including an impressive action sequence where Simu Liu drop kicks Munteanu and propels himself onto another section of the bus as it breaks apart. Razor Fist is a classic villain from the Shang-Chi comics and I’m eager to see the MCU version of the character.
Another notable scene is the clearest view yet of Wenwu, aka The Mandarin, Shang-Chi, Razor Fist, Katy (Awkwafina) and Xialing (Meng’er Zahang) presented with the Ten Rings army. You can see in that scene that Shang-Chi is front and center, with the warriors bowing to him. This moment aligns with the theme of the trailers where we’ve heard The Mandarin’s voiceover telling Shang-Chi that it is his destiny to take over the Ten Rings and his legacy.
The end of the spot really grabbed my attention, forcing me to lean in, inches away from my screen. This spot reveals a scene with the Ten Rings charged in red floating around Shang-Chi, along with a superpowered moment where we see Shang-Chi leaping through the sky and landing with a powerful impact that cracks the ground. In the next scene, Tony Leung’s Mandarin is seen unifying all Ten Rings into one arm and energizing them for an attack.
The Ten Rings are obviously central to this story, and fans have widely speculated that Shang-Chi would come away from this film with super powers. It makes sense since in the comics the character is “merely” human, with no actual powers (save for brief moments like when he turned into a giant or was given the power to multiply himself). While in comics, you can get away with a regular human battling superpowered beings (hat tip to Bruce Wayne), that’s harder to accept in the live-action film setting.
My hope is that by the end of the film, Shang-Chi will have adopted the Ten Rings, which will allow him to tap into enhanced powers if necessary. The Ten Rings also have symbolic value here, as there’s a tension between Shang-Chi’s old world traditions and his new world desires, and that’s a tension that deeply resonates with many Asian Americans and other immigrant communities. It would be a nice story for Shang-Chi to find a way to embrace old family traditions while evolving, and in this case redeeming, them to fit into a modern setting.
Watch the new spot below and get ready for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings only in theaters September 3rd!
WITNESS THE RISE OF A MARVEL LEGEND
IN THEATERS ON SEPTEMBER 3
Join producer Kevin Feige, stars Simu Liu and Awkwafina, and director Destin Daniel Cretton as they explore Shang-Chi’s backstory and his connection to the Ten Rings in “Destiny” a new, exciting, action-packed featurette for Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings.” Also, check out the brand-new poster, available to download now.
Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. The film also stars Tony Leung as Wenwu, Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan, as well as Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu and Ronny Chieng. “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and produced by Kevin Feige and Jonathan Schwartz, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and Charles Newirth serving as executive producers.
Shang-Chi’s journey is told with stunning visuals, the MCU’s signature spectacle and displays of mind-blowing action, along with the talents of a diverse, stellar cast and a relatable story. Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” opens in U.S. theaters on September 3.
Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture. He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.