This week Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings premiered – 95%. That film has been a huge forward-looking past in terms of Asian representation for both Marvel Studios and Hollywood in general. The first film with a majority Asian cast was Madly Millionaires – 93%. The success of that film was definitely one of the factors that allowed something like Shang-chi could exist.
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Another film that allowed this moment to pass was Black Panther – 90%. Thanks to its success, all the studios understood that the world is ready for superhero movies, and in general, that they do not have pure white characters. That movie gave a great hero to all Afro-descendant children throughout this world. Now we can say that Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings it has done the same for the Asian community. Now the children of that community have a hero with whom they can feel identified. We know that there are people who do not care about this and who have lived their lives well without having superheroes that look like them, but there are thousands of people who have always dreamed of having a superhero of the same ethnicity. Of course, we are not going to be naive and say that Disney does it out of the goodness of his heart. They do it because it is a new market to get as much money as possible.
Someone who is totally happy that Marvel has a movie starring an Asian hero is Simu Liu himself. This was expressed by the actor in a long and emotional letter that he published on his Instagram (via .) and which was accompanied by an illustration of a couple of Asian children admiring Shang-Chi. In it, he thanks director Destin Daniel Cretton and Marvel Studios because now Asian superheroes are the protagonists of their own stories:
Keep reading: Marvel just officially announced that Shang-Chi is a member of the Avengers
The sun rose today in a world in which Asian superheroes exist as the protagonists of their own stories; that’s the gift that Destin Daniel Cretton and Marvel Studios have given to all of us, across all communities, everywhere. A celebration and a sharing of culture, language, laughter, emotion, sadness and a broken heart. I need to say a few words about our director, who has put in much more work than you can imagine. Thanks for making all of this possible, Destin. For your consideration, your dedication and your commitment that you showed each and every day. Thank you for the personal sacrifices you made and for giving me the opportunity to be the recipient of your story. I will never be able to pay for everything I have learned in my time with you.
In addition to thanking the director, he thanked all the actors who starred in the film with him and especially for being patient with a newbie like him. In addition to this, he reiterated that the film is going to change the world and make it a better place:
I have said before that this film is going to change the world. It will give a smile where there was not one before. Pride where there was shame. Compassion where there was only ignorance. If we reach out and touch, even one person, then aren’t all our lives better for that?
He ended his letter by saying that this day they made history.
On the other hand, Destin Daniel Cretton He had already said, in an interview with Observer, that one of his motivations for making the film was to create a hero with whom the new generations can feel identified:
It’s really exciting for me to be able to fill such a movie with a lot of Asian faces and to be able to see more sides of these characters than we’ve ever seen before. Growing up, I didn’t have a superhero who looked like me and it’s really exciting to give a generation something that I didn’t have. Couldn’t be more excited.
Before you go, you should read: Shang-Chi breaks F9 pandemic record in early box office days