Jackie Chan
Source: Getty

Will Jackie Chan Become Marvel's Newest Villain in 'Shang-Chi'?

Jamie Lerner - Author

Apr. 19 2021, Published 6:24 p.m. ET

Now that the trailer is out for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, we absolutely cannot wait for a martial arts volume in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As part of Marvel’s fourth phase, Shang-Chi will be a modern-day kung fu fighter, which has many people saying this is Marvel’s take on Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.

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Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee are easily the most mainstream Asian action movie stars, so we’re due for more Asian representation. Considering they both literally kicked butt with martial arts films, it's long past time for a kung fu fighting superhero. With all the ties to Jackie Chan’s expertise, rumors started circulating that he would be in Shang-Chi. But are the rumors true?

shang chi
Source: Marvel
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Jackie Chan was rumored to be in negotiations with Marvel to appear in ‘Shang-Chi.’

Back in 2019, a Heavy Spoilers YouTube account posted a video claiming that Jackie Chan was in negotiations with Marvel to play the character of Zheng Zu in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. This account did not cite any sources, but that didn’t stop the Twitterverse from going wild over the news.

Even if he was in negotiations at the time, the same account also shared that if Jackie did sign on for Shang-Chi, it would have been announced at the D23 Expo also in 2019. Since it hasn’t been announced that Jackie Chan will be in Shang-Chi, and the movie is now set to release in September 2021, it’s very unlikely that he'll appear in the film.

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shang chi
Source: Marvel

The character of Zheng Zhu, which Jackie Chan was rumored to play, may also not be in ‘Shang-Chi.’

In the comic books, Zheng Zhu is Shang-Chi’s father and helps shape him into the superhero he becomes. This would have been a perfect bit role for Jackie to appear in, but many believe the character to be marred with offensive stereotypes. According to the Shang-Chi IMDb page, Zheng Zhu will not be in the movie at all. 

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However, as many of us know, nothing is impossible, especially in the MCU. In the comic books, Zheng Zhu turns into a villain at one point, so it’s very possible that Marvel was in talks with Jackie Chan and just wanted to wait to give him his turn as the starring villain to keep us all engaged in the Shang-Chi saga. After all, it's unlikely that any Marvel superhero will only be getting one movie. Perhaps Jackie and Zheng will pop up in the future.

Awkwafina and Simu Liu in 'Shang-Chi'
Source: Marvel
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Many other notable Asian actors are starring in ‘Shang-Chi.’

One of our favorites, Awkwafina, will be playing the role of Katy in Shang-Chi, and we can’t wait. Bringing Awkwafina into the MCU is giving us exactly what we’ve been waiting for, as she has the perfect sense of humor and courageous audacity combined. Simu Liu will be starring in the title role. Many of us know him from Kim’s Convenience as Jung. 

And even though Jackie Chan will not be starring in Marvel’s newest installment, one member of his stunt crew, Andy Cheng, will be taking part in the production of Shang-Chi. This is major news since he’ll be able to bring over some of Jackie Chan’s trademark styles.

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

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