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‘Shang-Chi’ Confirmed for Exclusive Theatrical Debut Despite Rising Covid Concerns

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will make its MCU debut exclusively to theaters and not simultaneously on Disney+, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has now confirmed. However, the Marvel outing will mark the studio’s first release with the now 45-day theatrical window in place, meaning that Disney will likely release Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to their streaming platform and DVD/Blu-ray as soon as October 18.

The release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is of course unlike that of fellow Marvel superhero Black Widow, whose standalone movie was moved to a simultaneous theatrical and Disney+ Premier Access release after a series of delays caused by the ongoing global situation. Chapek has explained why this release strategy is not possible for Shang-Chi saying, “We think it’s actually going to be an interesting experiment for us, because it only has a 45-day window for us.” Chapek continued, explaining that “because of the practically of last-minute changes it wouldn’t be possible,” to give Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings the same kind of release as Black Widow received.

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Traditionally, movies have been given a 90-day window between hitting movie theaters and home release, but amid ongoing circumstances and the global closure of theaters, studios renegotiated the theatrical window down to 45 days, with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings the first Disney/Marvel set to be released under this new agreement. The fact that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is not getting the same treatment as Black Widow though is sure to irk Scarlett Johansson’s lawyers, who recently filed a lawsuit against the studio over the last minute change in release.

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton from a screenplay he wrote with David Callaham and Andrew Lanham, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will chronicle the story of Shang-Chi, a skilled martial artist who was trained at a young age to be an assassin by his father Wenwu. After leaving the nefarious Ten Rings organization and opting to live a normal life in San Francisco, Shang-Chi is soon drawn back into the clandestine world of the Ten Rings and is forced to confront the past he thought he had left behind.

Starring Simu Liu as Shang-Chi alongside Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh, and Tony Leung, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will introduce a newly undiscovered world of martial arts and magic into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the movie due to introduce another all-powerful weapon in the form of the Ten Rings, as well as an underwater dragon and, finally, the real version of supervillain The Mandarin, who just so happens to be Shang-Chi’s father.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will premiere in Los Angeles on August 16, 2021, and is scheduled to be released in the United States on September 3, as part of Phase Four of the MCU. The upcoming Marvel outing is just one of several projects on the MCU horizon, with Phase 4 due to introduce audiences to the Eternals, and eventually The Fantastic Four, as well as offer further adventures for some familiar faces in the likes of Doctor Strange in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, The Marvels, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Spider-Man: No Way Home. This comes to us via Collider.

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