The prologue for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings set the stage nicely, explaining what the titular artifacts where, how they’d slowly corrupted Tony Leung’s Wenwu and why his thirst for wealth and power had ultimately alienated his two children following their mother’s death.
Opening a blockbuster with reams of exposition can often be a risky move, one that slows the pace down to a crawl that the rest of the film never recovers from, as Mark Wahlberg’s crushingly tedious Infinite can attest. However, Shang-Chi‘s first scenes were punctuated by lavish visuals and bursts of effects-driven action while setting the stage, so it worked within the context of the narrative.
In a new interview with Inverse, writer Dave Callaham revealed that two origin stories for the organization were shot before the studio settled on the version deemed superior, but he did hint that the unused sequences could form the basis of a different story to be told at another time.
“There were scenes shot for the movie that suggested one origin. There were scenes shot later that suggested a different origin. We didn’t know which one we wanted to say it was. We intentionally chose that as the final version. We realized, in these two hours, it doesn’t make any difference at all where it comes from. That’s not the story we’re telling. But it sure is an interesting question we’d love to talk about later. Or someone will.”
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings continues to dominate the box office having held strong for three weeks, with Simu Liu’s title hero already confirmed as the newest member of the Avengers. It’s been a massive win all-round for the cast, crew and studio, so much so that fans are already hoping one of those mystery 2024 release dates gets taken by a sequel.