Speed Reads

Finally

Marvel is reportedly planning its first movie with an Asian lead

To quote Hope van Dyne: it's about damn time.

Marvel Studios is plotting its first superhero movie to center around an Asian lead — a film about Shang-Chi, a kung fu master superhero who originated in a 1973 comic, Deadline reports. ScreenCrush describes the character as essentially "Marvel's answer to Bruce Lee." No one has been signed on to helm the film, but Deadline reports that Marvel is looking for an Asian director, and Chinese-American screenwriter Dave Callaham (The Expendables, Wonder Woman 1984) has reportedly been hired for the script.

Earlier this year, Marvel's first film to center around a black lead, Black Panther, was a box office phenomenon, becoming the highest-grossing film of the year and the third-highest grossing film to ever be released in the United States. The studio's first film to center around a female lead, Captain Marvel, hits theaters in March (although Evangeline Lilly's Hope van Dyne was the co-lead of July 2018's Ant-Man and the Wasp).

It's not entirely clear how Shang-Chi will factor into Marvel's broader plans for its ongoing film franchise, which is broken up into different "phases" that each lasts several years. The untitled fourth Avengers film will conclude the third phase in May 2019, with Spider-Man: Far From Home kicking off phase four in July. No other movies have been officially announced for phase four, but Shang-Chi could very well make its way in there, as Deadline reports the studio is "fast-tracking" it.