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Marvel’s first Shang-Chi trailer teases a big bad martial arts movie

Every tradition and trope is on display

Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

Marvel Studios made a splash in the TV world with WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but its movie game has not been forgotten. Black Widow arrives (finally) this July, and the next installment of the MCU will arrive shortly after. After delays due to the pandemic shutdowns, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings arrives in September, and there’s a teaser trailer to prove it.

Starring relative newcomer Simu Liu in the title role, the film will find the superpowered martial artist Shang-Chi facing off against the Ten Rings organization, previously seen in the original Iron Man. Though spoofed in Iron Man 3, a real version of The Mandarin will serve as the movie’s main villain. Chinese actor Tony Leung fills the role, with Awkwafina set to costar.

Shang-Chi was created in the 1970s around the same time as fellow Marvel martial arts master Iron Fist. After Marvel notably flubbed the introduction of Iron Fist in the Netflix-Marvel continuity, Shang-Chi stands to be something of a corrective, a movie starring actors of Chinese descent, and produced by Asian-American voices. The film is written by Chinese-American screenwriter Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984), and directed by Asian-American filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy).

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters on Sept. 3, 2021.