ASIAN ARTS: HOW MARVELOUS THE WANING OF STEREOTYPES LIKE FU MANCHU

MATHEW ANDROVETT WRITES–Shang -Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, slated for release in February of 2021, will be the first Marvel feature film to center around an Asian protagonist— Shang-Chi, played by actor Simu Liu, a Marvel character known for his mastery of Kung-fu. 

In essence, it will mimic Marvel’s approach to its very own blockbuster Black Panther movie (by “hiring cast and crew who can speak honestly to the cultural experience of the character and avoid common stereotypes”).Chinese-American writer Dave Callaham”will write the script, while the directorial nod will go to “Destin Daniel Cretton,” who is of Japanese descent. 

            One of the key issues Marvel Studios hopes to address is the “stereotypes that many comic characters of that era were saddled with,” which the Shang-Chi comics in particular present. As a result, Marvel faces the arduous task of producing a “modernized script” which accurately portrays Asian culture while remaining true to the comic book character and his origins. 

One particular challenge will be the character’s father Fu Manchu. While integral to the story of Shang-Chi, this is an extremely controversial character that  “portrays the worst in anti-Chinese stereotypes.” Details remain thus far hazy, but the consensus among fans and Marvel executives alike is that Fu-Manchu will be cut from the film altogether, as  famed Marvel Comics writer Jim Starlin states:  there will be some eliminations like Fu Manchu.”

            Although Marvel is known for keeping a tight seal on plots to its upcoming movies, the title suggests that the story will revolve around the terrorist group the Ten Rings, whom you might remember from their debut in Iron Man (2008). 

          Comic book fans speculate that this means the long – awaited introduction of The Mandarin, that famed Marvel Comics villain, into the Marvel Comics universe, as his character leads the comic book Ten Rings. This news has spiked movie hype.

            Look out, though—how do you resist racist Asian stereotypes with a character named The Mandarin?

            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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