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First Chinese superhero film by Marvel sparks controversy over Tony Leung’s role

Marvel Cinematic Universe announced the cast of its first Chinese superhero film on Sunday, quelling a week of online speculation but stirring new discussions among Chinese netizens.

Chinese Canadian actor Simu Liu, best known from the sitcom Kim’s Convenience, will play the title role in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

The cast includes Crazy Rich Asians star Nora Lum, better known by her stage name Awkwafina, and award-winning Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu-wai.

Hawaii-born director Destin Daniel Cretton, who emerged with the 2013 indie favourite Short Term 12, will direct the film, which is scheduled to hit North American theatres on Feb 12, 2021.

Shang-Chi, a character who first appeared in a 1973 Marvel comic book, has a Chinese father and a mother who is a US citizen, according to Hollywood Reporter magazine.

According to Marvel’s official site, Shang-Chi was raised by a renowned criminal mastermind as his heir and an assassin, but he discovered his father’s evils and turned against him, becoming a martial arts master who fights for justice.

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