Early last year, I shared the news that Marvel Comics characters Leiko Wu, Black Jack Tarr and Clive Reston, MI6 operatives and allies of Shang-Chi from the Master of Kung Fu comics, were set to be included in Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings. As those of you that have seen the movie will know, none of those characters appear in the film and there is no mention of MI6, the British Secret Intelligence service who, in the comics, was after Shang-Chi’s father.
Our own Charles Villanueva was able to talk to executive producer Jonathan Schwartz and asked if those characters were a part of the early development process of Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings.
Not really. I think that very early on we decided that we wanted to move Shang-Chi in kind of a different direction and surrounding him with that cohort just never really felt quite right. It would’ve meant kind of loading the movie up with British Caucasian characters rather than having a movie that is primarily, or almost entirely, Asian or Asian-American characters, and that version just felt more exciting, fresher and cooler.
As integral as those characters were to Shang-Chi’s development in the comics, their absence was certainly not noticeable in the film. Marvel Studios did an incredible job of creating an entirely new world for the character to inhabit and new characters to help shape and guide him along the way. With Kevin Feige indicating they already have plans for a sequel, it’s possible that we might see MI6 pop up there or in a potential Ten Rings project. As Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings proved (Abomination and Wong were certainly not on anyone’s list of characters expected in this film), characters can show up any place at any time.