Marvel is making its first Asian superhero film — and a Maui native is directing

Marvel is making its first Asian superhero film — and a Maui native is directing
Hawaii-native Destin Cretton and actor Michael B. Jordan on the set of Cretton's latest film, Just Mercy. (Photo: Instagram/Destin Cretton)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Black Panther — are about to be joined by the publisher’s first Asian-American superhero.

Marvel Studios announced on Wednesday that it is developing plans to bring the superhero Shang-Chi, the ‘Master of Kung Fu,’ to the silver screen. The character first appeared in Marvel comics in 1973, starring in his own set of comic books before later joining the ever-popular Avengers.

Being the company’s first superhero film to star an Asian character, Marvel has chosen an Asian-American film director to helm the project — a director who spent his entire childhood on Maui.

Destin Daniel Cretton was born on the Valley Isle and lived in Haiku until after his graduation from Maui High School in 1996. He’s best known as the writer and director of Short Term 12, a short film starring Brie Larson that debuted in 2008, and is currently wrapping up production on a movie called Just Mercy, which stars Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx.

Deadline reported Wednesday that Cretton was to direct a film that Marvel executives are hoping can capitalize on the template the company created last year when it produced Black Panther.

The Academy Award-winning film was written by an African-American screenwriter, led by an African-American director and featured a mostly African-American cast.

Cretton’s iteration of Shang-Chi is already being written by a Chinese-American screenwriter and will, presumably, feature a primarily-Asian group of actors. No casting decisions for the film have been announced.

This story will be updated.

Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.