Marvel taps Destin Daniel Cretton to direct Shang-Chi


Marvel Studios has finally landed a filmmaker for Shang-Chi, their first film to be headlined by an Asian lead.

It’s been known for a little while that Marvel Studios is developing a Shang-Chi solo film as part of their upcoming slate of movies. And while a screenwriter was reportedly attached, there was no word on a director. Well, Marvel has now seemingly found a filmmaker to bring the Master of Kung Fu to the big screen.

According to THR, Destin Daniel Cretton will direct Shang-Chi for Marvel Studios. Cretton will tentatively direct from a screenplay by Wonder Woman 1984 co-writer Dave Callaham. Another potential candidates for the job were Justin Tipping, Alan Young and Deborah Chow.

A past report also states that by hiring a director and screenwriter of Asian decent Marvel hopes to create another watershed moment, as they did with Black Panther. As most no doubt know, that film was a box office success on went onto become Marvel Studios’ first Best Picture candidate.

Like many of Marvel’s directors, Cretton comes from the world of independent filmmaking. While his body of work consists of several short films, he’s also directed feature films like The Glass Castle and the critically acclaimed Short Term 12. And he’s currently directing his most recent film, Just Mercy. Coincidentally, all three of these films star Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson.

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Based on his past work, Cretton should bring an interesting vision and skill set to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As previously stated, Marvel Studios prefers to find indie filmmakers for their productions, and so far, it’s mostly worked in their favor. Directors like James Gunn, Ryan Coogler, and Taika Waititi all came from indie backgrounds. Even Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the directors of the studio’s most recent film, Captain Marvel, mostly worked on indie films before directing their first tentpole project with Marvel.

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It’s an interesting choice, for sure, and fans will likely be watching closely to see how Cretton brings the classic comics character to life.