Casting rumors for Marvel’s first Chinese superhero Shang-Chi gets China's internet buzzing
Black Mirror’s Ludi Lin and 13 Reasons Why’s Ross Butler rumored for the title role, with Donnie Yen possibly up for a supporting job
Fans seem to be thrilled with this possibility. But it wasn’t the Chinese-Canadian actor’s appearance in DC blockbuster Aquaman that won them over.
Born to a Chinese-Malaysian mother and a father of British-Dutch ancestry, the American actor is largely unknown in China. If there’s one reason netizens there might know about him, it’s from one Netflix teen show in particular, as Weibo users explained:
Butler might be more famous in the US, but in the Chinese-speaking world, he’s definitely no match for our next candidate…
Peng is no stranger to Hollywood. He starred alongside Matt Damon in Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall in 2016. Before that, he honed his martial art skills in the Chinese kung fu film Rise of the Legend and sports drama Unbeatable.
Sounds great -- except that Peng doesn’t look exactly like Shang-Chi in the comic books. That’s not a problem for the next star on our list…
The Singaporean Mandopop king isn’t known for his acting skills. But look at that picture! He certainly looks like a dead ringer for Shang-Chi, making him a running joke among Marvel fans in China.
Yen already has a relationship with Disney, having been cast in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the upcoming live-action Mulan in 2020. But his potential involvement in Shang-Chi has elicited split reactions online in China.
One of the actor’s fans struck a more optimistic tone.
If cast, though, it wouldn’t be Yen’s first appearance in a Marvel property. The seasoned martial artist starred as Snowman in Blade II and was a fight choreographer for the 2002 sci-fi thriller.