According to a rumor posited by our friends at That Hashtag Show, The Marvel/Netflix cooperative might be casting Shang-Chi, the “Master of King Fu,” for Marvel’s Iron Fist Netflix series. YAY!
So, are these claims put forth by That Hashtag Show weighted with any actual validity? Well, they were the first to break the story regarding Finn Jones’ casting as the titular character in Marvel’s Iron Fist, so it seems their source has a direct line to some seriously accurate information.
So, let’s break down some of the information gleaned from That Hastag Show’s seemingly well-informed source:
1. Not only is Marvel/Netflix looking to add Shang-Chi to the cast of Iron Fist, they may grant the character his very own series if pubic reception is considerable.
2. And this should calm anyone previously associated with the “Iron Fist’s casting was a blatant act of whitewashing” camp: Netflix/Marvel is auditioning – exclusively – Asian males for the part of Shang-Chi.
2b. An editorial aside: the casting of a white male for the part of Iron Fist was in NO WAY an act of whitewashing. How can I make such a bold, almost authoritative statement? Because the Iron Fist comics – the incontestable source material on which the forthcoming show is based – tells the story of a Caucasian, American male being found (‘rescued’ is more accurate) and trained in the ways of the Iron Fist. Sure, you could say the whitewashing began with the conception of Iron Fist; why make a young white fellow a master of mystic, glowing martial arts techniques when this sort of story taking place in a “foreign” land – predominantly populated by Asian immortals – should naturally beget an Asian lead. Yes, going back to the very beginning of Danny Rand’s creation, one could see the application of whitewashing. But that was then, and this is now; Netflix cast the character derived precisely from the source. To say they’re whitewashing now is basically saying they’re whitewashing the whitewash. Ugh.
So, if you’re a comic fan (like myself), you’re ecstatic about the inclusion of Shang-Chi. If you’re a more casual fan receiving your education exclusively through TV and film, allow me to offer a little backstory straight from the mouth of Marvel’s Wikia Database:
“Shang was raised to become a deadly assassin by his father, the immortal crimelord and sorcerer Fu Manchu. Feeling lessons from various masters were not enough, the boy was also subjected to alchemy and a virtual reality feed of techniques and styles while he slept. However, Shang Chi became aware of his father’s evil and faked his death after his first assignment. He then began to attack various elements of his father’s criminal empire and allied himself with his father’s enemy, Denis Nayland Smith. In retaliation, Fu Manchu sent a number of assassins to kill him.”
Yes, he’s arguably the greatest Martial Arts master in the entire Marvel Universe, and he’s the son of 70’s pulp-villain, Fu Manchu. D’OH! Who’s Fu Manchu? He’s very much like Iron Man’s foe, The Mandarin, but a heck of a lot more effective.
After freeing himself from this father’s influence and regime, he joined up with MI-6, the Heroes for Hire, and eventually the Avengers. He’s been around and paid his dues; a live-action appearance, in this writer’s opinion, is loooong overdue.
Psyched for the possible appearance of Shang-Chi? Any ideas which Asian actor might fit the bill? Let us know below!