After an initial delay in production due to, you know, the freaking coronavirus pandemic that stopped and debilitated the entire world, it looks like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Marvel’s first 2021 entry in their ongoing Cinematic Universe, will restart production sooner than you might expect. Per Deadline, Disney and Marvel are kicking off the production again as soon as the end of July, in the continent of Australia.
Shang-Chi first stopped its production in March of 2020, with director Destin Daniel Cretton choosing to self-isolate and get tested for COVID, a decision in part made for the safety of his newborn baby (the test, thankfully, came back negative). The return to production in Australia is being made with caution and preparation by Marvel and Disney, with those powers working directly with the Australian government to ensure safe, quarantined travel to Sydney for the cast and crew.
Do I still feel uncomfortable about the idea of a big-budget, globe-trotting production starting during the middle of a global pandemic that hasn’t stopped or found a vaccine? Of course I do. Does the cast and crew of the film? I would have to imagine at least some of them. But hopefully, Marvel, Disney, and the Australian government are doing what needs to be done to keep everyone as safe as possible.
The film stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, a powerful martial artist. Tony Leung stars as the villainous Mandarin, and Awkwafina and Ronny Chieng are playing undisclosed roles. Cretton directs a screenplay from David Callaham, and Kevin Feige produces alongside Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, and Jonathan Schwartz. It is still scheduled to be released on May 7, 2021, but, uh, we’ll see!
For more on “big-budget productions tipping their toes into restarting,” here’s some intel on the Avatar sequels.