If you can believe it, we’re still only at the start of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the first brand-new character has entered the fray with an exhilarating origin story. Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings tells the story of Shang-Chi and how he learns to embrace his past while forging his future, along the way solidifying himself as a Marvel Hero.
The film also introduces several Asian heroes and heroines into the larger MCU tapestry, told with stunning visuals, mind-blowing action, and a stellar cast directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. As the director tells Marvel.com, “regardless of what your ethnic background is, Shang-Chi’s journey is something that is so relatable.”
While you might be excited to experience Shang-Chi’s journey on the big screen, the cast is even more stoked to see it come to life and resonate with fans around the world — especially younger ones, who might be seeing themselves as a Super Hero for the first time. Meng’er Zhang, who plays Shang-Chi’s sister Xialing, is already seeing some of this in action when she was met with attendees dressed as her character on the red carpet for the world premiere, noting that Marvel fans are “so quick and so creative.”
“Asian representation is really important to me, and Asian kids growing up in Western countries can have Super Heroes that they can look up to and say, ‘They look like me.’ That’s amazing. I’m just super proud and I feel really lucky to be a part of this film and to be a part of this amazing moment.”
Fala Chen, who plays Shang-Chi’s mother Ying Li, (who also happens to be a new mom!) loves that her daughter will “grow up watching films in where she sees Super Heroes and characters who look like her. That fact alone makes me really happy as a parent.”
Chen grew up in China before moving to America, and as she explains, “I did see films with faces like mine, but I never really grew up seeing a Super Hero because that just didn’t exist, an Asian Super Hero. When I was growing up then later in America, I couldn’t find a Super Hero that I would like to dress up as.”
But with Shang-Chi, “now not only we have one, but we have multiple characters that kids can grow up watching,” continues Chen.