Reporter Justin Kroll from Variety posted tweets about auditioning for roles in Marvel Studio’s Shang-Chi, creating excitement in China.
He wrote that Marvel Studios is “putting out test offers for a group of men in their 20s” for the role in Shang-Chi, adding that the studio has “been adamant to reps offering up their clients for the role that they have to be of Chinese ancestry no other Asian ancestry excepted [sic].”
Despite Twitter being blocked in China, the tweets went viral anyway with users screen-grabbing it and posting it on Chinese microblogging site, Weibo.
Hashtags “Shang-Chi casting” and “Marvel’s first Chinese hero” have reportedly been viewed 100 and 590 million times with the story being picked up by major entertainment media venues and chatter focused on casting suggestions.
Actor Eddie Peng, 37 is a “clear favourite” for the lead role of Shang-Chi among the Chinese media and social media users.
Marvel Studios and Disney are becoming more successful in the China market with Avengers: Endgame totalling $614 million (SGD835 million) there, the country’s third highest grossing film of all-time and the highest grossing foreign film of all-time.
Spider-Man: Far From Home has grossed an estimated $166 million (SGD225 million) in China, a sharp increase from the $116 million (SGD157 million) Homecoming grossed two years ago.
Scriptwriter David Callaham is of Chinese descent while director Destin Daniel Cretton has Japanese ancestry.
Besides Shang-Chi, Marvel also casted superheroes of colour to represent the comic characters.
The most recent ones are Aquaman, played by Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Jason Momoa and Spiderman voice acted by American African Shameik Moore.
Black Panther, Storm from X-Men and Nick Fury are also some of the superheroes who are not Caucasian. -/TISG