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‘Shang-Chi’ sequel is officially a go, with Destin Daniel Cretton returning to direct

A man in a red superhero costume wielding a bo staff
Simu Liu in Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”
(Jasin Boland / Marvel Studios)

Three months after “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” shattered a box-office record upon its exclusive theatrical release, Disney has greenlighted a sequel to the groundbreaking Marvel blockbuster.

Destin Daniel Cretton will return to direct a followup to his superhero adventure starring Simu Liu, the Los Angeles Times confirmed Monday. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe led by an actor of Asian descent, made domestic box-office history in September as the highest-grossing movie ever to open on Labor Day weekend.

Deadline broke the sequel news while reporting that Cretton has struck an exclusive multiyear overall deal with Marvel Studios and Hulu’s Onyx Collective that will allow him to develop TV projects for Disney+ as well as Hulu and other Onyx platforms.

Crucially, the film could only be seen in theaters. That has put another ‘arrow in the quiver’ for theater owners contending with an uncertain release schedule.

“Destin is an amazing collaborator who brought a unique perspective and skill to ‘Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings,’” Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, said in a statement to Deadline.

“We had a fantastic time working together on the film and he has so many intriguing ideas for stories to bring to life on Disney+, so we’re thrilled to expand our relationship with him and can’t wait to get started.”

Earlier this year, “Shang-Chi” was the first Disney film during the COVID-19 pandemic to be released only in theaters, launching at $90 million across North American cinemas alone. The MCU epic, also featuring Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Meng’er Zhang and Michelle Yeoh, became available to stream on Disney+ last month.

How do you turn a cliché-ridden comic book character into a distinctly Asian American superhero? Tackle the tropes one by one.

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Through his new partnership with Onyx, which spotlights entertainment created by artists from marginalized communities, Cretton’s production company Family Owned will pursue projects centering on identities historically underrepresented in film and TV, according to Deadline.

“Working on Shang-Chi with Kevin and the Marvel Studios team was one of the highlights of my life, and I couldn’t be more excited about Tara’s vision for Onyx Collective,” Cretton said in a statement to the trade outlet. “I can’t wait to explore new stories and build new worlds with this community.”

The Boys & Girls Club of San Gabriel Valley hosted a private screening of ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ over Labor Day weekend.

In September, Cretton made a surprise appearance at a free Monterey Park screening of “Shang-Chi,” where he encouraged members of the Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley to believe in themselves and enjoy the film.

“It took me a long time to get to a place where I was able to look in the mirror and be happy with who I was,” he said.

“And that is, to me, the biggest superpower ... looking at yourself and seeing all the imperfections, all the good, all the weaknesses, the strengths, the things that people tease you about, the things that people praise you about, and learning to just embrace it all. And that’s what you will see Shang-Chi do over the course of this movie, and I hope it’s something that we can all carry with us.”


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