Shang-Chi: Kevin Feige Says Marvel Was Worried How Audiences Would React to Non-English Opening

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Marvel Studios embraced the Chinese fantasy genre of wuxia in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings‘ opening scene. In it, Wenwu searches for the fabled city of Ta Lo. He meets Li on the city’s border. The two fight at first but quickly fall in love. The characters speak in Mandarin, with subtitles appearing on the screen throughout the scene. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige admits feeling concerned that the sequence might not go over well with mainstream movie audiences. His worries appear to have been unfounded. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings proved successful enough to warrant a sequel and a new Disney+ series from the film’s director, Destin Daniel Cretton.

“Frankly, we were always ready to see if the audience would reject it in our test screenings and to see, ‘OK, are we going to have to pull a ripcord here in any way?’ Which was not our first instinct,” says Feige. “Destin very much believed in the fact that audiences would go with it, and sure enough they did. It wasn’t even a question. It wasn’t even a concern. On the contrary, I think it added to the authenticity in the way the movie started.”

The news of the Shang-Chi sequel and Cretton’s Disney+ show deepens the director’s working relationship with Disney. He’s also set to helm Disney+’s American Born Chinese, adapting Gene Luen Yang’s acclaimed graphic novel.

“Working on ‘Shang-Chi’ with Kevin and the Marvel Studios team was one of the highlights of my life, and I couldn’t be more excited about Tara’s vision for Onyx Collective. I can’t wait to explore new stories & build new worlds with this community,” Cretton said in a statement announcing the new projects and his exclusive deal with Marvel and Hulu’s Onyx Collective.

Feige added, “Destin is an amazing collaborator who brought a unique perspective and skill to ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.’ We had a fantastic time working together on the film and he has so many intriguing ideas for stories to bring to life on Disney Plus, so we’re thrilled to expand our relationship with him and can’t wait to get started.”

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“Destin is a powerhouse storyteller with impeccable taste in material. As we continue to expand our roster, Destin’s unique voice will help usher in an exciting slate of content for our global audience,” Tara Duncan, president of Freeform and Onyx Collective.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is streaming now on Disney+.

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