SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS Director Destin Daniel Cretton Reveals Why He's Helming The Movie

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS Director Destin Daniel Cretton Reveals Why He's Helming The Movie

The filmmaker also drops some hints about his plans for The Mandarin, while Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige sheds some light on just how many Asian actors the movie will include. Read on for details!

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to start shooting in Australia any day now, and it's fair to say that there's an awful lot of excitment surrounding the Marvel Studios movie. Now, director Destin Daniel Cretton - who is currently doing the rounds to promote Just Mercy - has shed some light on what led to him tacking a comic book adaptation like this one.

"I grew up without a superhero to look up to," the filmmaker tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I gravitated to Spider-Man when I was a kid, primarily because he had a mask covering his face and I could imagine myself under that mask. I would love to give my son a superhero to look up to. I feel very privileged to be a part of telling that story."

That's a great reason to want to direct a movie like Shang-Chi and in a separate interview, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige notes that "we've wanted to make [the] movie for a long time" and adds that it will feature a "98% Asian cast." That's a big step forward for diversity in the genre.

Going back to Cretton, though, and as you might expect, he's been fielding a lot of questions about this one, including what his take on The Mandarin will be. Understandably, the director is giving nothing away, but said that we can expect "the emotional aspect" and "the ideas of camaraderie, family, and connection is something that will definitely be a part of this movie."

That's a pretty vague response, but reading between the lines, it could confirm rumours that the real Mandarin will end up being Shang-Chi's father and that we'll follow the hero attempting to escape his shadow. Either way, this is clearly shaping up to be something very special indeed.

Hit the "View List" button to see which storylines
we think should be adapted in Marvel's Phase 5!



It's fair to say that Earth's Mightiest Heroes were "disassembled" in Avengers: Endgame, so taking inspiration from the storyline that introduced the New Avengers might be a smart move for this fifth instalment of the franchise.
Featuring a massive breakout at The Raft, an unlikely team of heroes made up of characters like Captain America, Wolverine, Luke Cage, and Spider-Man come together and attempt to stop the villains from causing chaos in New York City. This leads to a confrontation with Electro and a trip to the Savage Land, and there are lots of elements here which could he adapted for the big screen.
There would definitely need to be some changes in order to make it feel bigger and more epic, but providing Marvel Studios continues jailing it's bad guys rather than killing them, this has a ton of potential. 

Dark Reign


Rumours continue to swirl that Norman Osborn is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and assuming Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures continue to play nice, we could definitely be in store for a Dark Reign to hit this shared world.
After all, Earth has been left without its greatest defenders (no, that's not a reference to those cancelled heroes on Netflix) so there's definitely a void there that could be filled by this charismatic villain as he poses as a superhero. There was a lot to Dark Reign and Marvel Studios can pick and choose whatever they like from it, but Spider-Man should be more heavily involved and the formation of the Dark Avengers is a must. 
This is a storyline that needs space to breathe, though, so here's hoping Osborn is introduced sooner rather than later and that builds to a battle for the very soul of the MCU in Avengers 5.

The Kang Dynasty


The Kang Dynasty is rightly considered a classic, and it revolved around the time-travelling villain deciding that to protect the Earth, he would have to conquer it. Telling the world's villains that they can keep the lands they conquer for themselves, Earth's Mightiest Heroes are forced to scatter themselves across the globe in order to keep the peace. 

Ultimately, it may not be a strong enough premise to carry an entire movie, but it would make a great basis and Kang's big screen introduction is definitely long overdue at this stage. 

Throw in some time-travel elements and pick some of the more memorable moments from other Kang stories and this could be an instant classic, pitting The Avengers against one of their most formidable foes to date. 

Young Avengers


There is, of course, a chance that Marvel Studios will do something totally unexpected with this franchise. Rather than creating a new team made up of heroes like Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and The Hulk, they could shift the spotlight to the Young Avengers instead.
Introduced shortly after the team was "disassembled" in the comic books, Marvel could mix Wiccan and Speed (both of whom could be introduced in WandaVision) with the likes of Ironheart and Clint Barton's daughter, a.k.a. the new Hawkeye.
Essentially taking the Avengers franchise down the "YA" route would definitely be a bold and potentially controversial move, but there's a lot of story to be told here and it's hard to escape the feeling that this is what Kevin Feige has planned, especially after Cassie Lang was aged up and is now ready to suit up as the size changing Stature!  

Secret Invasion


Heading into Captain Marvel, it's fair to say we all expected the movie to set the stage for a Secret Invasion in Phase 5. Instead, the Skrulls were taken down a more heroic route and it now seems as if it will be up to that movie's sequel to possibly delve into the more villainous side of the shape shifting aliens.
Whatever happens, though, common sense says that we will see Earth's Mightiest Heroes battling the Skrulls at some point, as using them solely in a heroic capacity would be rather odd. 

The potential of this storyline factoring into Avengers 5 is clear to see, especially as building this lack of trust in the MCU would be cool to see, as would witnessing the heroes fighting themselves and trying to figure out who is who. A very different sort of alien invasion, this would be more grounded than previous instalments, but still epic and very exciting. 

Civil War II


Civil War II is a terrible comic book series but it would be no bad thing to revisit this particular event for Avengers 5. Superheroes fighting each other is always fun, and while Iron Man is no longer around, Black Panther would be a great substitute and T'Challa having a disagreement with Captain Marvel could have some incredible ramifications. 

Ultimately, this would have to be a very loose adaptation, but Ulysses could easily be swapped out for a mutant character and Marvel Studios could even incorporate elements of Avengers Vs. X-Men

This might be best saved for even further down the line, but it does feell like Captain America: Civil War was just a warm up for an even bigger clash between our favourite heroes, especially after Avengers: Endgame left them fractured.

Ultron Unlimited


Elements of Ultron Unlimited were included in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but there's still a lot here that could be used in a fifth Avengers movie. The villainous android may have been destroyed by The Vision but there are still ways he could return, and the addition of characters like Jocasta and Wonder Man would obviously be a lot of fun. 

A huge part of this storyline involved taking Ultron from being a jilted creation to Hank Pym's evil reflection, and while Iron Man is dead and gone, Ultron could easily try to replace his "father" as the world's greatest hero in a suitably twisted manner. 

Marvel Studios could also use Ultron's return to set the stage for an adaptation of Annihilation, especially as he played a key role in that event when he travelled into outer space and decided to conquer the cosmos rather than Earth. Either way, there's a lot of potential for greatness here.

Avengers Vs. X-Men


Marvel Studios is going to reboot the X-Men franchise after the disastrous Dark Phoenix, but it's not going to be easy, especially as moviegoers are clearly sick and tired of the mutant superheroes.

So, why not skip straight past that initial movie and do with the X-Men what they did with Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War? Kicking things off for the MCU's mutants with an Avengers Vs. X-Men movie would be awesome, and it's hard to imagine it being anything other than a box office hit. 

Providing Marvel Studios can find a way to convincingly introduce them and find a good reason for the two teams of heroes to clash, then there's no reason this couldn't be the basis of Avengers 5!

World War Hulk


The Hulk now has Bruce Banner's intelligence, but using the Infinity Gauntlet took its toll on the Jade Giant and it's hard to imagine where things will go next for him. One possibility is that the character will take a villainous turn and if Marvel Studios takes him down the Maestro route, we could still get an adaptation of World War Hulk. 

We've already seen Planet Hulk, of course, but this storyline featured the Green Goliath declaring war on Earth and its Mightiest Heroes, and had game-changing consequences for a number of characters.

The first Avengers movie was supposed to pit the team against The Hulk, and it would be amazing to see the likes of Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Spider-Man battling the former hero who has been driven mad by his duelling natures. Honestly, not doing this would be a missed opportunity...

Kree/Skrull War


The Kree/Skrull War played out in Captain Marvel and assuming that movie's sequel takes place in the past, then there's a very good chance the battle between these alien races has already concluded.

If not, though, it's about time this conflict reaches Earth and that The Avengers get involved. Just like Civil War II and Avengers Vs. X-Men could be combined, so too could this and Secret Invasion, and it would be great to see the likes of Black Panther and Scarlet Witch in space. 

There are a huge number of iconic moments throughout this storyline, and after Captain Marvel's success, tying her franchise into The Avengers is just a smart business decision on Marvel's part. 

Continue reading below to see some forgotten
villains we want to see more of in Phase 4!


Helmut Zemo

While he was quite a bit different to the version of Zemo we're used to seeing in the comic books, Daniel Bruhl's vengeance-fueled former special ops soldier was a great big bad in Captain America: Civil War and managed to do something no one else had until Thanos came along: he broke The Avengers. 

While he presumably remains behind bars, his story is far from over, and it was recently confirmed that he will return in the Disney+ series revolving around The Winter Soldier and Falcon.

In terms of the big screen, another clash with Captain America would be no bad thing and while it might take a fair bit of work to get him in that mask from the comics, I'm sure that's something Marvel Studios could do relatively effortlessly given their track record.


Justin Hammer

Iron Man 2 may have been a bit of a mess but an undeniable highlight was Sam Rockwell's Justin Hammer. The actor made a brief and unexpected return in the "All Hail the King" One-Shot but hasn't been seen since. 

Unfortunately, a fourth Iron Man movie seems highly unlikely at this point but Hammer could easily target a different superhero or even designs some armours for a group like the Masters of Evil or Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers. Even if he's just a supporting player, there's a lot of 
potential for Hammer to still make an impact in the MCU. 

Personally, I could easily imagine him helping the Green Goblin design some of his 

Alexander Pierce

Yes, Alexander Pierce died while uttering one final "Hail Hydra!" but that doesn't mean he can't come back in another way. Just think about it for a second; Black Widow is going to be set during the 90s/early 2000s, so a younger version of the character could easily come into play there, especially as we're bound to see some Hydra Easter Eggs. Honestly, he could even show up in Captain Marvel!


Another Hulk movie probably isn't going to happen due to some complicated legal issues with Universal Pictures but that doesn't mean Marvel Studios can't continue utilising characters from the Jade Giant's world. 

The Abomination has presumably been in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody ever since the events of The Incredible Hulk and Marvel wouldn't even need to bring Tim Roth back (assuming he doesn't wish to return) considering the fact the villain is a CGI creation. This guy is a heavy hitter and would be a fantastic addition to any villainous group that steps up to challenge The Avengers. 

Fans want to see this happen too and I'm sure Kevin Feige and company are well aware of that.


Arnim Zola

Arnim Zola made an awesome return in Captain America: The Winter Soldier but was seemingly destroyed when that old S.H.I.E.L.D. base was blown up. However, this is a world of superheroes and supervillain so who's to say he couldn't have transferred his mind elsewhere before building himself a robot body?

Sure, he's on the goofier side of the spectrum when it comes to bad guys but that doesn't mean this wouldn't work and if we're not getting another Captain America movie, I can't help but think that he would be a great fit for the aforementioned Winter Soldier and Falcon series coming to the Disney+ streaming service. 


Iron Monger

Iron Monger is also dead but I'm not suggesting that Obidiah Stane make a miraculous return! Instead, I would much prefer to see his son Ezekiel Stane show up in a bid to get revenge on Tony Stark (assuming he's still alive in Phase 4, of course).

Wearing a suit of armour he's spent years perfecting since his father's demise, Zeke could pose a problem for any number of heroes and if Marvel Studios is planning to surprise us with an Iron Man 4, then this guy teaming up with The Mandarin would be a lot of fun. Once again, though, this guy definitely feels like someone who would be a solid team player. 

In other words, Marvel has to bring together some sort of villainous group in Phase 4 and that's what a lot of these returning characters could actually end up being used for. 


Red Skull

The Red Skull made his return in Avengers: Infinity War but his future was very much left up in the air after Thanos threw his daughter Gamora off the side of a cliff in order to retrieve the Soul Stone. 

The question is, has he been freed from Vormir in order to finally return to Earth and get his vengeance on Captain America or does he remain trapped, a shadow of his former self? It's impossible to say but Ross Marquand did a fantastic job, so I would have nothing against him reprising the role and possibly putting some of those supernatural powers to good use. 

Honestly, though, the only way this could work would be if Marvel is planning a new Captain America movie and, as of right now, there's nothing to say that's actually going to happen during Phase 4. 


The Mandarin

During the "All Hail the King" One-Shot, we learned that there's a real leader of the Ten Rings called The Mandarin and he wasn't happy with Trevor Slattery impersonating him for the world to see. 

Now, that should lead to the real deal making an appearance somewhere down the line but nothing is guaranteed, especially as Iron Man's big screen future is very much up in the air as of right now. Unlike a lot of the other characters here, it would be hard to get invested in this guy showing up if Tony Stark isn't involved somehow as there's just so much history between them.

I guess we'll have to wait and see but this would be one heck of a throwback to 2008's Iron Man!


Karl Mordo

Doctor Strange ended with Karl Mordo making his new villainous nature known and it's pretty obvious that we'll see him return in the sequel. Whether he's the lead villain or a secondary bad guy, there's an awful lot that can be done with Mordo now that he's on a mission to take magic away from those he doesn't believe deserve it.

That's bound to lead to him crossing paths with Strange again and the battle between these two could be downright epic, especially if Nightmare - Scott Derrickson's top choice of villain for the sequel if past comments are to be believed - ends up also making an appearance. The sequel wouldn't be complete without this guy returning.


Mac Gargan

There are rumblings that Mac Gargan will make an appearance in Spider-Man: Far From Home and while his origin story was a tad uninspired and rushed compared to his comic book counterpart, it would still be amazing to see him suit up as the Scorpion. 

Marvel Studios will need to flesh Mac out in the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel to make this work but this character's big screen debut is long overdue and while I would have liked to see him take centre stage as a lead villain, a member of the Sinister Six would be just fine thinking about it. 

I definitely expect to see Gargan make this transformation during Marvel's Phase 4 so stay tuned!



Ultron is one of my favourite villains and I think Joss Whedon did a great job with him in Avengers: Age of Ultron (even if he did let off a few too many wisecracks). While it appeared as if The Vision destroyed him at the end of the sequel, the door is definitely open to the android once again taking aim at Earth's Mightiest Heroes in the MCU.

There are many ways Ultron could make a comeback; it could be as an outer space villain in a Guardians of the Galaxy movie or even back on Earth when he assembles the Masters of Evil. 

Whatever the case may be, Ultron should not be a one and done villain and I would love to see what another filmmaker would do with the villain. One thing I can say for sure, though, is that James Spader should return to voice him because it's hard to imagine anyone else doing a better job.


The Winter Soldier

No, I don't want to see Bucky return to his villainous ways but it's absolutely essential that The Winter Soldier makes his return in the planned Black Widow movie next year. 

We know that Natasha has history with the Hydra assassin so even if this ends up being little more than a cameo, it would be fascinating to learn more about that and great fun seeing the Winter Soldier when he was doing the whole assassin thing we caught a glimpse of in the Captain America: The First Avenger sequel. 

It's also possible that we'll get some flashbacks to this era of Bucky's life during his Disney+ series with The Falcon or if Marvel Studios chooses to remain firmly in the present there. 
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