The screenwriter for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was asked to avoid certain story arcs from the source comics when planning the script.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings screenwriter Dave Callaham revealed in a new interview that there were some storylines from the Shang-Chi comic books that he was asked to avoid while working on the script.
“I was not familiar with Shang-Chi as a character. They gave me a bunch of comics as well,” Callaham told The Hollywood Reporter. “A number of the older ones, the origin story ones, are pretty problematic in terms of Asian stereotypes.”
Callaham added that early on, he asked himself an important question, noting, “It became a process of figuring out, ‘What speaks to me the most about this character and story and putting an Asian face on-screen?'” He would then send his ideas to producer Jonathan Schwartz, who would send him notes back.
“Every now and then you’d get too close to something. He can’t tell you what it is,” Callaham recalled. “[He’d say] ‘Ehh, stay away from that genre. That’s in another room right now’ — without ever exposing too much.”
The screenwriter concluded, “Other than that, they’d let me do my thing and let me know when they thought it was cool and when it was ready for Kevin, and then I pitched Kevin and the crew and away we went.”
In addition to his work on the Shang-Chi script, Callaham previously contributed to the scripts for Wonder Woman 1984, Mortal Kombat and the upcoming sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. He is also currently working on the script for Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of Hercules.
Released in theaters on Sept. 3, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opened to $71.4 million over its first three days and went on to rack up an estimated $90 million in ticket sales in U.S. and Canadian theaters over the four-day Labor Day weekend.
While it’s not exactly clear how the story in Shang-Chi will be incorporated into the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe, connections have already been drawn between the villainous Mandarin and Iron Man. The film also ended with Shang-Chi telling his friends Soo and John that his sister had returned home in order to help dismantle the Ten Rings terrorist organization. The tag at the end of the film’s credits, however, revealed, “The Ten Rings will return.”
It’s since been suggested that the organization could make an appearance in the next MCU film, Eternals, which is scheduled to hit theaters on Nov. 5. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now playing in theaters.
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Shang-Chi Screenwriter Says There Were Some Storylines He Couldn’t Use