ByJerome Maida, writer at Creators.co
Writer
Jerome Maida

Marvel Studios may be ready to throw it's fans a pleasant twist.

With seven "Untitled Marvel Films" on the schedule between now and 2019 - and possibly more dates reserved soon - it is clear Marvel is going to be producing fllms based on some new properties.

Of course, with "Thor 3", "Iron Man 4" and "Avengers 3" almost certainly on the docket eventually, that leaves only four new properties.

Of those, the characters that seem anywhere from a done deal to likely to get their own film seems to center on the same names: "Doctor Strange", "Ms. Marvel", "Black Panther", "Black Widow" and "Inhumans", which seems to have taken a lot of the suspense out of the MCU as it goes forward.

It's like, a majority - or huge number - of fans seem to no longer question which films are going to come out. Only when.

But if Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige have taught us anything, it's that they always have a few surprises up their sleeve Just look at "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Ant-Man".

Which is just one of many reasons I think it is llkely they are going to surprise us once again and announce a "Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu" movie sooner than later.

Why?

1.) THE SHANG-CHI CHARACTER HAS IMPRESSIVE LIVE-ACTION ROOTS! The character was conceived in late 1972 when Marvel Comics acquired the comic book rights to Sax Rohmer's pulp novel villain Dr. Fu Manchu while they held the rights to the Kung Fu television program. Instead of producing a straight adaptation of either source, Marvel, with writer Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin, combined the two. The result was Shang-Chi, a master of kung fu, who was introduced as the previously unheard of son of Fu Manchu.

Although spun out of licensed properties, Shang-Chi is a Marvel-owned character and has been firmly established as a part of the Marvel Universe with guest appearances in numerous other titles, such as Marvel Team-Up, Marvel Knights and X-Men. Most of the original, licensed, characters in the supporting cast have been phased out in the more recent series and stories.

2.) THE CHARACTER'S COMIC HAD A LONG RUN IN THE 1970s AND 1980s THANKS TO FANS OF MARTIAL ARTS FILMS! SO HE HAS A HUGE FAN BASE AND THE GENRE IS OBVIOUSLY VIABLE!

3.) THAT LONG ORIGINAL RUN, AND SUBSEQUENT STORIES STARRING THE CHARACTER, PRODUCED MANY TALES THAT CAN EASILY BE ADAPTED TO EXCELLENT SCRIPTS

4.) A "SHANG-CHI" FILM HAS BEEN DISCUSSED FOR YEARS

in 2001, Stephen Norrington announced that he had agreed to direct a film to be called "Hands of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu". Norrington described the film as "a real honest-to-goodness martial arts film, rather than a film that simply has martial arts in it". In 2004, it was announced that Ang Lee had been brought on as producer. In 2005, it was announced that Stan Lee had agreed to executive produce the film for DreamWorks, with Yuen Woo-ping directing from a Bruce McKenna screenplay. In 2005, Avi Arad stated that he thought that a PG-13 adaptation was possible. In 2006, Ang Lee confirmed his and Yuen's continued involvement with the project.

Which brings us to a little-known, and amazing, fact that points to the viability of a "Shang-Chi" film.....

5.) THE BANK THAT BANKROLLED THE START-UP OF MARVEL STUDIOS OBVIOUSLY FEELS THE CHARACTER IS WORTH MONEY AS A FEATURE FILM...WHY WOULDN'T MARVEL?

When marvel wanted to create Marvel Studios and produce their own films, they needed funds. That is when they struck a deal with Merril Lynch. They received $525 million, but had to use the film rights of 10 Marvel characters as collateral: Captain America, The Avengers, Nick Fury, Black Panther, Ant-Man, Cloak & Dagger, Dr. Strange, Hawkeye, Power Pack, and..... Shang-Chi.

Would Merill Lynch have allowed Shang-Chi to be one of the characters used as collateral for such a large sum if they didn't feel th character had value as a feature film. Of course not! The Marvel Studios bean counters realize this as well.

6.) "SHANG-CHI" IS LISTED AS "IN DEVELOPMENT" ON KEVIN FEIGE"S IMDB PAGE!

While nothing on IMDB should be taken as gospel, this is yet another positive sign!

7.) MARVEL PUBLISHING HAS BEEN GIVING SHANG-CHI A HIGH-PROFILE - AND POSITIONING HIM IN A WAY THAT WOULD HAVE HIM FIT IN THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE

We all know that when Marvel's publishing division gets the slightest hint of a film, they put out product accordingly.

This past summer, they came out with a four-issue miniseries starring Shang-Chi, titled "Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu". The writer of the series, Mike Benson, says his goal with his take was to make Shang-Chi a cross between Bruce Lee and Jason Bourne.

In recent years, Steve Rogers recruited Shang-Chi as one of the "Secret Avengers". During the recent Marvel NOW! relaunch, Shang-Chi joined the Avengers after being recruited by Captain America and Iron Man.

Recruited by Captain America and Iron Man? That MIGHT work in the current Marvel Cinematic universe!

8.) "SHANG-CHI" WOULD HAVE A MUCH LOWER BUDGET, MORE POTENTIAL PROFITABILITY AND A DIFFERENT FEEL THAN THE REST OF THE FARE IN THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE

9.) EVERY ASIAN MARTIAL ARTIST IN THE WORLD WILL BE LINING UP TO PLAY THIS CAREER MAKING/REINVIGORATING LEAD

10.) IT WOULD HELP THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE BE MORE DIVERSE

So the odds are pretty good we will see a "Shang-Chi" film by the end of the decade.

What do you all think?

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