28 Things We Learned from the ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Commentary

Marvel Studios

By Rob Hunter · Printed on November seventeenth, 2021

Welcome toCommentary Commentary, the place we sit and hearken to filmmakers discuss their work, then share essentially the most fascinating elements. On this version, Rob Hunter revisits the perfect of 2021’s MCU movies, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.


Covid continues to play havoc with all aspects of life together with the film enterprise, and a type of hazards consists of box-office receipts. They’ve been down! Not one of the three MCU releases in 2021 got here near incomes even half a billion — a quantity the entire movies have handed since Captain America: The First Avenger means again in 2011.

Anyway. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is an efficient flick! The motion is among the many MCU’s finest, the solid is a mixture of the enjoyable and the legendary, and it’s an enormous step for Asian-American illustration. Director Destin Daniel Cretton sat down for his very first commentary monitor and divulges an appreciation for all that goes into certainly one of these huge funds superhero films. Preserve studying to see what I heard on the commentary for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.


Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Commentators: Destin Daniel Cretton (director, co-writer), Dave Callaham (co-writer)

1. Mandarin within the comics mostly wears the ten rings on his fingers, however after watching a wide range of martial arts movies they determined to maneuver them to his wrists.

2. Cretton’s first intuition when excited about who to solid as Xu Wenwu was Tony Leung , however he additionally admitted on the time “there’s no means we’ll ever get him.” They really feel that bringing him on board — Leung was one of many first actors solid — was an actual tone-setter for the movie.

3. Fala Chen auditioned shortly after ending her research on the Juilliard College.

4. They knew early on the movie would function a dragon, however Cretton hoped it wouldn’t find yourself merely as an enormous, flashy impact with out greater objective. Fortunately, “the dragon turned rooted in one thing a bit extra emotional and extra linked to who Shang-Chi is and who he turns into.” Callaham had spoken along with his Chinese language mom and talked about the movie would come with a dragon, and he or she instructed him it needed to be a great man. He requested why, and he or she mentioned “as a result of dragons are protectors.”

5. Cretton says they went by means of numerous contenders for the lead function however discovered the right package deal in Simu Liu. He has the athletic talents, however he’s additionally a terrific actor, confirmed unbelievable chemistry with Awkwafina, is fluent in English and Mandarin, and is comfy shifting between Western and Jap cultures. Callaham provides that Liu’s “code-switching” means was an integral ingredient to the character of Shang-Chi as properly.

6. A part of Cretton’s pitch to land the movie noticed him present a scene of 4 associates hanging out in a bar speaking, after which he mentioned “think about this scene with all Asian-People.”

7. The bus struggle is loosely impressed each by Jackie Chan and Buster Keaton.

8. Klev (Zach Cherry), the man on the bus filming and livestreaming the struggle, can be in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) as an unnamed road vendor.

9. They weren’t certain how they had been going to make the runaway bus cease, so Cretton requested Brad Allan for recommendation. He took a couple of minutes then got here to them with the thought of the rubbish truck coming into play and serving to grind the bus to a halt.

10. “Did they title Wong after Benedict Wong?” asks Cretton, to which Callaham rapidly replies “No, that’s his title within the comics.” It’s unclear if Cretton is simply having enjoyable on this Shang-Chi commentary or if he’s being critical.

11. The struggle membership in Macau was one massive bodily set you might truly stroll by means of versus a creation produced from quite a few smaller setups.

12. They acknowledge that bamboo scaffolding fights have a wealthy historical past in motion movies, however they needed to focus on theirs by having it happen excessive up in opposition to a skyscraper.

13. Cretton sees the entire motion scenes as having their very own story objective, and the one between Shang-Chi and Dying Supplier (Andy Le) is not any completely different. It’s a struggle between a scholar and a instructor, “and this scene actually is about Shang-Chi preventing himself, preventing that urge to get again into who he was as a toddler.”

14. They suggested Liu to “faucet into his Tom Cruise” whereas filming him operating.

15. Within the comics, Shang-Chi was initially launched because the son of a personality named Fu Manchu, “an clearly problematic deeply stereotypical character,” after which Marvel modified Fu into the Mandarin. Their depictions within the comics weren’t “notably useful or was at all times a bit problematic.” They rebuilt the character from the bottom up, however a part of his baggage was that he was nonetheless the chief of the Ten Rings which had a earlier look in Iron Man 3 (2013).

16. Cretton talked to Leung about Wenwu, and the query arose as as to if or not the person had the flexibility to like. “Tony emphatically mentioned sure.” Leung noticed the character as a person who genuinely loves his household however doesn’t know how one can present it.

17. They pitched the thought of Morris — the six-legged, winged creature and not using a face — to Kevin Feige anticipating it to get shot down, however Feige gave them the go-ahead. The creature nonetheless felt too odd so Cretton and Callaham made a wager that if Morris made it during manufacturing and truly ended up within the movie, Callaham would get a tattoo of him. “As of this recording I’ve not procured that tattoo, principally on account of Covid points, however I’ll accomplish that.”

18. It was vital to the filmmakers to make it clear that Ta Lo is greater than only a village of individuals standing guard with bows, arrows, and swords. “Ta Lo extends far past the shores of their village, Ta Lo is a area and has cities.” They’ve applied sciences properly past humanity’s, even when this village has taken on a extra “monkish” mentality. They each supply good luck to future MCU writers who must revisit and discover the thought extra deeply.

19. They offer a shout out on the Shang-Chi commentary to the movie’s third co-writer, Andrew Lanham, who turned a serious voice within the movie’s third-act.

20. Callaham needed Wenwu to have two large praying mantises by his facet in the course of the finish battle, however he couldn’t persuade anybody to signal on to the thought.

21. They initially needed to shoot Shang-Chi’s underwater scenes… underwater, however why do actual when you are able to do MCU, amirite? “We knew we didn’t have the time, and it will be an actual ache as Simu must maintain his breath for a very long time.” They as an alternative went with Liu on a harness shot in slow-motion with a wind machine.

22. Cretton had questioned what it was like directing a VFX-heavy sequence and anticipated it will go away him within the wings, “nevertheless it’s far more collaborative and concerned than I anticipated and means tougher than I anticipated.” The problem consists of pairing story beats and narrative requirements with the visible results.

23. The shot of Katy (Awkwafina) reacting to her arrow shot into the large monster’s neck was filmed only one week earlier than the movie’s premiere and only one month earlier than they recorded this Shang-Chi commentary.

24. Benedict Wong surveyed the bar set for the tip scene earlier than filming started, examined the chairs and desk prime, and instructed Cretton he was prepared. He didn’t inform anybody he was going to stroll up and shove aside the 2 chairs (and their occupants) so these are pure reactions.

25. Cretton has needed to incorporate “Resort California” in all of his films since highschool, “however I had not been capable of afford it.” Callaham writes needle-drops into his scripts typically, and his personal white whale is Cinderella’s “Don’t Know What you Received (Until It’s Gone).”

26. Marvel movies had been by no means a aim for Cretton till he heard this character was coming into the MCU.

27. Cretton presents some transferring ideas on the late Brad Allan in the course of the closing minutes of the commentary main as much as “In Loving Reminiscence of Brad Allan” be aware.

28. Non-MCU movies talked about in the course of the Shang-Chi commentary embody The thirty sixth Chamber of Shaolin (1978), Clueless (1995), Rush Hour (1998), The Matrix (1999), Kung Fu Hustle (2004), Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010), Oldboy (2013), and Lars von Trier’s The 5 Obstructions (2003).

Greatest in Context-Free Commentary

The primary time I noticed this, I cried.

“We maintain attempting to interrupt as many stereotypes as potential on this film.”

“I’ve by no means accomplished an motion sequence earlier than, however I do know what I like are motion sequences which might be crafted round a singular location or state of affairs.”

“Some enjoyable MCU Easter eggs throughout this stroll for the followers.”

“Now we come to a fairly large reveal of the film.”

“I like that Razor Fist drives an electrical automotive.”

“They’re fairly gross, Destin.”

“Nearly the entire vfx within the third-act had been accomplished by WETA.”

Last Ideas

The pair point out early on within the Shang-Chi commentary that that is their first time doing one, and it reveals initially as they go away some gaps and repeatedly say “we are able to discuss this…” The pair rapidly get right into a groove, although, and discover a lot to speak about relating to the manufacturing, what introduced them to the movie, and extra. It’s a great monitor for followers.

Learn extra Commentary Commentary from the archives.

Associated Subjects: Commentary Commentary, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Rob Hunter has been writing for Movie College Rejects since earlier than you had been born, which is bizarre seeing as he is so rattling younger. He is our Chief Movie Critic and Affiliate Editor and lists ‘Broadcast Information’ as his favourite movie of all time. Be happy to say hello if you happen to see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.

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