SHANG-CHI Production Temporarily Halted Amid COVID-19 Concerns

Marvel’s Comic-Con panel during San Diego Comic Con came tons of news about Phase 4, the latest stage of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Marvel is setting its sights on the small-screen as well thanks to the upcoming streaming service Disney+, the company still had it in ’em to announce several movies, too. In addition to The Eternals and the next Doctor Strange, we also got brand new information about the rumored Shang-Chi movie. Now it’s official and has a full title: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Kevin Feige announced the film at SDCC, bringing director Dustin Daniel Cretton (best known for his film Short Term 12, starring Captain Marvel herself Brie Larson) to the stage.

The Cast

Cretton then announced the film’s cast. Tony Leung is set to play The Mandarin—the real one this time, not the faker we saw in Iron Man 3—with Awkwafina in an undisclosed role. The biggest announcement was actor Simu Liu as the titular Shang-Chi. Liu got the role Tuesday, just a few days before today’s panel, so we have to imagine his head is reeling right now.

Liu is a Chinese-Canadian actor who has apparently had his sights set on the role for a long time. He tweeted this back in December 2018.

We don’t know much else about Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings at this time, but we’re thrilled for Cretton, Liu, and everyone involved. This will be the first time an Asian character had a lead role to play in the MCU, which continues the company’s recent streak of diversifying their lineup.

We can’t wait to see how it all comes together when the film arrives in theaters on February 12, 2021.

Production Halt

In an “abundance of caution” due to the spreading COVID-19 concerns, the film’s Australian production temporarily halted after Cretton made the decision to self-isolate. According to a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the director made the decision to get tested “under the recommendation of his doctor.” The film’s first unit has paused while he awaits the results of the test. Production isn’t totally shutting down on the film, however, as Marvel stressed that the second unit and other areas of the production are continuing.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on March 12, Marvel said:

As many of you know, Destin, our director, has a new born baby. He wanted to exercise additional caution given the current environment and decided to get tested for Covid-19 today. He is currently self-isolating under the recommendation of his doctor. While he waits for the results of the test, we are suspending 1st unit production in an abundance of caution until he gets the results this coming week. Second unit and off production will continue as normal. We will reach out to everyone by Tuesday for the latest update.

This is an unprecedented time. We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work through this.

Liu posted a statement on Twitter, lauding the precautions the production took in the wake of coronavirus uncertainty, reassuring fans that everyone is in “good spirits.”

Marvel’s Phase 4

The announced Marvel Phase 4 slate includes new films—Black Widow, The Eternals, Shang-Chi: The Legend of The Ten Rings, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of MadnessThor: Love and Thunder, and Blade—as well as new Disney+ streaming series: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, What If…?, and Hawkeye.


Kevin Feige also revealed they didn’t have time to discuss Blade, Black Panther 2, Guardians 3, Captain Marvel 2, Fantastic Four, or “mutants.” But are those sequels part of Marvel’s Phase 4, or 5?

For more on Marvel’s Comic-Con announcements, check out our live blog of the panel!

Which movie or Disney+ show are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below! 

Images: Disney/Marvel

Originally Posted: 07/20/2019