Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi’ is Over a Decade in the Making
Fans of the MCU are certainly excited for the companies September release, introducing the newest member of the MCU. The film is more than just the debut of a formerly unknown hero; as Marvel’s Shang-Chi is over a decade in the making.
Many fans only know the film studios as currently constructed. With over a decade of incredibly successful films, it’s difficult to remember a time before the MCU and Marvel Studios.
Better yet, it’s difficult to remember a time before Marvel Studios.
It is interesting, however, to consider that Shang-Chi, one of Disney’s most recent theatrical releases, is actually a film that is over a decade in the making; 16 years to be exact.
To understand how this happens, one has to first venture back to the days before Marvel Studios, and before the Walt Disney Company owned the comic publisher.
Marvel comics experienced a financial slump during the late ’90s; a reality that forced the company to sell off the theatrical rights to some of their most popular characters. Spiderman, The X-Men, and Fantastic Four to name a few.
Seeking a sale to keep the company alive, Marvel Entertainment spent the four years prior to the Disney acquisition developing a plan that would change the trajectory of the company forever.
This plan was a revolutionary idea for a series of films taking place within one interconnected, shared, universe.
The idea, based on the utilization of Marvel’s well of incredible characters, was in jeopardy due to the lack of properties still in hand for the recovering company.
Marvel, after raising a billion dollars in support of the idea, turned to the characters they still owned.
Considered to be second and third-tier properties, Marvel bet their entire existence on the success of 10 characters they maintained the rights to.
These properties were the Avengers team name, Captain America, Nick Fury, Black Panther, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Hawkeye, the team of Cloak and Dagger, the team of the power pack, and last, but certainly not least, Shang-Chi.
The 10 properties weren’t just the last hope of Marvel’s ultimate vision; they were also collateral for a $525M investment that would allow the company to form Marvel Studios.
Had the companies vision ultimately failed, every one of those characters would no longer be Marvel’s property.
Marvel would, over the course of 16 years, partner with Disney in requiring nearly all of the characters they once lost (Outside of Spiderman, who remains with Sony), and follow through on the vision they had.
When Shang-Chi makes his film debut this September, he will be the last of that original ten to appear on behalf of Marvel Studios. Truly explaining why Marvel’s Shang-Chi is a decade in the making.
The Avengers have gone on to be the premier movie franchise for Marvel. Captain America, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, and Doctor Strange have all become vital characters in the MCU.
With Luke Cage and Iron Fist of the Power Pack and the duo of Cloak and Dagger both debuting in different TV series.
Shang-Chi may feel like a new and unfamiliar character to fans, but the reality is, Marvel has been building toward the master of Kung Fu for over 15 years.
Feature Image Source: theguardian.com