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Kevin Feige addresses China’s ‘Shang-Chi’ concerns, confirms Fu Manchu ‘is not even a Marvel character’
Marvel’s chief creative officer Kevin Feige is doing his part to promote the latest MCU film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, including addressing many Chinese people’s concern that the movie may include racist characters.
In an interview with Raymond Zhou for Chinese microblogging website Sina Weibo (via Variety), Feige addressed those concerns directly, emphasizing that old comic book characters like the racist Fu Manchu are not part of the Shang-Chi story:
“Fu Manchu is not a Marvel character. Fu Manchu is not a character we own or would ever want to own. And that was changed in the comics many, many years ago. And we never had any intention of doing that in this movie. Fu Manchu is not in this movie in any way, shape, or form.... He was such an offensive figure and was never anything we had any interest in doing. We want heroes that look like all our fans around the world and heroes that our fans can look up to and feel that wish fulfillment to be a part of. And it’s about inviting people into our world, not keeping people out of it or keeping people separate from it. So, definitively, Fu Manchu is not in this movie, is not Shang-Chi’s father, has not been for decades. And again, is not even a Marvel character.”
Feige went on to talk about Wenwu, a new character Marvel created to be Shang-Chi’s father who is played by Hong Kong superstar Tony Leung. “This is a very unique character that you can almost, almost not even call a villain,” Feige said about Wenwu. “This is a story of love between a father and a son, but misunderstanding and conflict, and that’s what we’re anxious for people to see in the movie.”
Feige also addressed the concern with Shang-Chi potentially rejecting his Asian roots, as he sometimes did in the comics. “All of our comics go back 60, 70, 80 years. So almost everything has happened in almost every comic, and we choose the elements that we like to turn into an MCU feature," he said. "What this movie is about is a hero who did have conflict with his father and his father’s legacy as he was growing up, and he wanted to run from that. The movie is about him returning to it and learning the deeper truths about what happened when he was a child and who his father really is.”
Whether Feige’s comments assuaged Chinese concerns about the movie remains to be seen, especially since there still isn’t a premiere date for the film in the country. Those in the U.S., however, can watch Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings when it premieres in theaters on Sept. 3.