Yesterday’s news of Finn Jones being cast as Danny Rand in the soon-to-be filmed Iron Fist series sparked an uproar. While many headline readers erroneously accused Marvel of whitewashing the character, another conversation was had by those who saw this series as a chance for Marvel to diversify and retool Rand as an Asian-American. That’s an interesting conversation and one to be had for sure, but it got us thinking behind the scenes that if there was such an outcry for an Asian action star in the MCU, why not introduce a longtime Marvel stalwart? Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu is just the man for the job.
Marvel has been developing a vehicle for Shang-Chi since there has been a Marvel (and before that Dreamworks had their sights set on the Kung Fu master) and because of that we are CERTAIN that Marvel will add him to the MCU at some point. The son of 70’s pulp Kung Fu villain Fu Manchu, a character to whom Marvel acquired the rights, Shang-Chi has worked with British Intelligence as an agent of MI-6 and alongside Luke Cage and Danny Rand as a hero for hire. More recently he has been an Avenger and, interestingly enough, a significant part of the Shadowland arc that many people are anticipating will be adapted to the Netflix series.
While having conversations about his impending arrival in the MCU, we began talking about just who we might like to see cast in the role and we also put the question to our fans via social media. Here’s what we came up with:
The 38-year old South Korean actor certainly looks the part with the looks and physique right off the pages of the most recent versions of Shang-Chi. His role in 2010’s The Man From Nowhere showed his chops as an action hero and his work in both TV and film would fit the mold of the type of actors Marvel has been casting for Netflix and that’s where the character seems to fit best in the MCU.
The 35-year old Hong Kong native has been a star abroad for years with Hong Kong film awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor under his belt. The martial arts expert is currently filming a movie and may not be available if Marvel plans to use Shang-Chi for something coming up in 2016, but like Won Bin, Tse has the looks of the smooth operating Shang-Chi.
Kang may be a more familiar face to American audiences given his role in the hit series The Mentalist but the 42-year old Korean-American actor would bring a different weight to the role. A bit older than the others on the list, the veteran actor could nail the cleverness of Shang-Chi.
A member of the ensemble cast of the CW’s The 100, Larkin was suggested to us by follower @ReelSeanMurphy and our own Cooperhood agreed. Born in South Korea, the 28-year old has steadily built his acting profile and is primed to break out. He looks right off the page of Hickman’s Avengers run and certainly carries a bit of a following.
What other actors would you like to see fill the role of Shang-Chi? With all the talk about an Asian-American actor taking the place of Danny Rand, there must be some other great ideas out there! Sound off in the comments below!