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Destin Daniel Cretton directed Marvel’s newest flick. But to his mom, he’s the superhero.

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 4:52 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 17, 2021 at 5:47 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui film director Destin Daniel Cretton’s “Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings” is on its way to holding the no. 1 spot for the third week in a row.

HNN’s “Muthaship” podcast recently caught up with Cretton’s mother, Janice, to talk about her son’s passion for film-making, his childhood on Maui and his humble approach to fame.

Cretton said her son started getting interested in making films during his small-kid times on the Valley Isle. “I’m just so proud of him, he’s my superhero!” exclaimed the 73-year-old Haiku mother.

Cretton celebrated the movie’s premiere night at Kaahumanu Theaters but watched it exclusively in Haiku. “My son, he arranged a special screening for me and my dad who is 95-year-old, in the comfort of his living room,” she said. Marvel also hired her daughter Joy as the assistant costume designer.

“It’s so hard to believe that two of my children from this little town of Haiku, Maui made it to Hollywood!” Cretton said.

Another surprise? During the pandemic, when production was delayed, Destin Cretton edited part of the movie in his grandparent’s house on Maui.

“He kept the door closed. He had stayed in the bedroom and you could hear ‘boom, boom, boom, boom’! Grandpa would go ‘huh’?!”

Janice Cretton home-schooled her six children.

“It kind of gave them more time to be creative. There was one time when my mom loaned me her big box video camera, you know the ones you put on your shoulder?” she said.

“Destin ran and asked me, mom can I try, can I try? So, at that young age, he already had an interest.”

His passion grew in college in San Diego where he graduated from film school and went on to make award-winning movies.

Today, “Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings” isn’t just breaking box office records. It’s breaking barriers.

“It’s so cool that my son has helped create an Asian superhero because my son growing up would say he wishes he had a superhero that looked like him,” said Cretton.

When asked if her son has changed since his journey to Hollywood, she said, “He’ll always have a local boy inside to da’ max. He’s so humble-pie and he hasn’t let his success get to his head.

“He lifts up everyone else around him and makes sure they are celebrated for their hard work since it is a team effort and they all accomplished it together.”

The 42-year-old still wears aloha shirts during his press junkets and lei on the red carpet. In an interview with Honolulu Magazine, he revealed his favorite local spot for ono grindz.

“My grandpa lives close to Pukalani Superette so we’re there every morning cleaning out the shelves. I even have the hat to prove it,” he said.

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