The official trailer for ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ dropped on April 19th. Showing of the MCU’s first proper foray, (let’s not talk about Iron Fist), into the mystical world of martial arts. The trailer shows off the first proper look at the MCU’s latest hero, – the titular Shang-Chi, – played by Simu Liu. Shang-Chi is known in the comics as Marvel’s ultimate master of martial arts.
The trailer shows off Shang-Chi in San Francisco living a normal life until the mysterious Ten Rings organization and its leader, – the Mandarin, – come to retrieve him from a 10-year hiatus to fulfil his destiny. The trailer while showing off the general plot of the film, also features several references to Shang-Chi’s comic book counterpart as well as some nods to the wider Marvel universe. So, with that being said let’s get into 5 things you may have missed in The Trailer.
#5. The True Mandarin
Pretty obvious one here, but the Ten Rings have been a group lurking in the background for the entirety of the MCU. First introduced in 2008’s ‘Iron Man’, the group were hired by Obadiah Stane to kidnap and kill Tony Stark, leading to him to becoming Iron Man.
They are led by the previously mentioned Mandarin, who was notably spoofed in ‘Iron Man 3’. Originaly played by Ben Kinsley, that Mandarin is revealed to be an actor playing the character for a copy-cat group. However, at the end of the film Guy Pierce’s character Aldrich Killian (that name required a google), is revealed to be the “true” Mandarin before going kaboom due to the Extremis virus.
All Hail The King
You might be wondering the ‘How they are bringing back the Mandarin for Shang-Chi?’ Well, the answer lies with a short film released in 2014 called ‘Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King’. This short film explained that the real Mandarin was not best pleased with his portrayal by Ben Kinsley’s Trevor Slattery. So, while Slattery is in prison the Mandarin sends someone to break him out.
Shang-Chi promises to reveal the real group for the first time, giving us a first look at the Mandarin who is also revealed to be Shang-Chi’s father. It is unclear what this means for his role in film, but it is great to see a comic accurate portrayal of one of Marvels biggest villians.
#4. Comic Book Influences
From first glance, the upcoming film looks to draw some influences from the recent Shang-Chi series released in 2020. The main similarities appear to be Shang-Chi trying to enjoy life in San Francisco away from mystical (and family) drama only for his old life to come crashing back to him. The movie could also deal with the updated mythology of the hero that appears in the newest comic volume, with the introduction of the Five Weapons Society. Who have protected China under the watchful eye of the sorcerer Zheng Zu since the Qing Dynasty. This could allow for some of the ancient parts of the MCU’s history to explored and open new doors into the mystical aspects of the universe.
The biggest departure from the comics that appears in the trailer is the replacement of Fu Manchu, (yes, that is really his name,) who is Shang-Chi’s father and long time enemy, being replaced with the Mandarin. However, it appears he will be inhabiting a similar role to Fu Manchu now being portrayed as Shang-Chi’s father and the villain of the film.
3#. The Ten ‘Rings’ Of Power
Speaking of the Mandarin, it appears that the Ten Rings of Power he is famous for are being replaced by bands around his wrists that in the trailer. These seem to be mainly used to smash up unsuspecting tables and enemy faces. The ‘rings’ themselves are incredibly powerful, with each of them having an unique power.
What Each Of The Rings Do
- Matter-Rearranger Ring, aka Remaker. This Ring allows the Mandarin to manipulate the atomic and molecular structures of matter. However, it cannot transmute elements or affect objects encased in force or energy fields.
- Impact Beam Ring, aka Influence. This Ring allows the Mandarin to generate and project various beams of concussive force.
- Vortex Beam Ring, aka Spin. The ring causes the air to move about at high speed in a vortex. The vortex can be used as an offensive weapon, as a means of levitating objects, or to propel the ring’s wearer through the air.
- Disintegration Beam Ring, aka Spectral. This ring allows the Mandarin to project a beam of energy capable of destroying the bonds between the atoms and molecules. This can cause inanimate objects to disintegrate. This ring must recharge for 20 minutes after each use.
- Black Light Ring, aka Nightbringer. This Ring allows the Mandarin to create an area of darkness. Presumably using Darkforce energy to do so.
- White Light Ring, aka Daimonic. This ring allows the Mandarin to generate and manipulate various forms of electromagnetic energy.
- Flame-Blast Ring, aka Incandescence. This ring allows the Mandarin to project blasts of infrared to produce flame or ignite combustible materials.
- Mento-Intensifier Ring, aka The Liar. This ring magnifies the Mandarin’s psionic energies, allowing him to mentally manipulate the thoughts and actions of others.
- Electro-Blast Ring, aka Lightning. This ring allows the Mandarin to project blasts of Electrical Energy.
- Ice Blast Ring, aka Zero. This ring allows the Mandarin to project waves of up intense cold and ice, trapping foes in ice blocks and sheaths.
Most likely, we will see each of the ‘Rings’ show off their signature powers throughout the film.
#2. Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting
Okay, so this one is based on speculation and rumours however the trailer seems to have confirmed that at least part of the film will feature a fighting tournament. Similar to another movie that is out later this year… Regardless of the similarities between the Shang-Chi and ‘Mortal Kombat’ trailers, speculation has been rabid online. Many fans believe that a whole roster of Marvel Characters will appear in the tournament. So far Razor-Fist played by Florian Munteanu has been confirmed to appear, as well as Xialing (Shang-Chi’s estranged sister) played by Meng’er Zhang. With the pair possibly fighting each other for the Ten Rings. The craziest speculation online so far is the appearance of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Baron Mordo in the film. Who could be looking to rid the world of magic with the 10 Rings, after the events of ‘Doctor Strange’.
Of course, the film isn’t copying Mortal Kombat per say but rather the trope of martial arts tournaments that appear in classic films such as ‘Enter the Dragon’. Hopefully this means the film is going to have a classic martial arts movie feel that stays true to it’s roots.
#1. Bill Pope as Cinematography
Okay so the last detail on the list isn’t specifically to do with the plot in the trailer, but rather the trailer itself. For those who don’t know who Bill Pope is, he’s the cinematographer behind the ‘Matrix’, ‘Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World’ and ‘Spider-man 2’.
What this means is that the future for Marvel’s cinematography could be heading to a more dynamic direction reminiscent of older MCU films. Hopefully Shang-Chi will draw upon inspiration from ‘Spider-Man 2’, a film still widely recognized as one of the best-looking superhero films ever produced. Rather than the fairly bland visuals that we’ve been seeing consistently across certain marvel properties over the past decade.
Both ‘Iron man’ films were shot on 35mm celluloid. This meant that they had dynamic and aesthetically pleasing visuals. In comparison to the uninspired digital cinematography that appeared in the first ‘Avengers’ film, the decision for Shang-Chi to do something different in its visuals, hopefully means that Bill Pope can bring some of his trademark flair to the MCU that will result in a new precedent going forward for Phase 4.
If You have any thoughts on The Shang-Chi Trailer or about this article. leave your comments below!
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