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Marvel has put a “Shang-Chi” film on the fast track, which would make it the first Marvel film to feature an Asian protagonist.

SALT LAKE CITY — Marvel Studios isn’t wasting any time to create “Shang-Chi.”

What’s going on: Marvel has put a “Shang-Chi” film on the fast track, which would make it the first Marvel film to feature an Asian protagonist, Deadline reports.

  • Chinese-American writer Dave Callaham will pen the script.
  • Marvel is searching for an Asian or Asian-American director for the film, too.

Why it matters: The studio is reportedly looking “to do something as potentially monumental as was accomplished in Marvel’s first viable Best Picture candidate, ‘Black Panther,’” according to Deadline.

  • “Black Panther” featured a nearly all-black cast and a black director (Ryan Coogler) and writer (Joe Robert Cole).
  • “The goal here is to do a similar thing: introduce a new hero who blends Asian and Asian American themes, crafted by Asian and Asian American filmmakers,” according to Deadline.

In the comics: Shang-Chi joined The Avengers in the Marvel Comics. He decided against joining the criminal underworld network, which was led by his father, Uproxx reports.

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  • Shang-Chi was recruited by both Steve Rogers/Captain America and Tony Stark/Iron Man, according to Uproxx.
  • The character first debuted in “Special Marvel Edition No. 15” back in 1973. He was created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin, who also created the character Thanos, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • The character was highly popular during the 1970s. Marvel revived him in 2012 as a member of The Avengers.

Bigger picture: According to Hollywood Reporter, the film will come at a time as Hollywood pushes toward more Asian leads after the success of “Crazy Rich Asians,” which earned more than $230 million at the box office.