SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS Pre-VFX Shots Reveal How The Great Protector Was Created

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ended with an epic battle between The Great Protector and the Dweller-in-Darkness. Now, we see how the former was brought to life in the Marvel Studios movie...

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While much of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is devoted to badass martial arts, the third act dials up the action for a final battle featuring The Great Protector and the Dweller-in-Darkness.

For much of that fight, Shang-Chi and his sister Xialing are shown riding The Great Protector, and while visual effects were used (obviously), we now see what those scenes looked like beforehand. Thanks to before & afters, we have some really interesting shots of Simu Liu and Meng'er Zhang sitting atop a giant blue structure with sandbags on top (a lot of imagination was clearly needed). 

You can see more photos over at the site itself, but they also caught up with animation supervisor Karl Rapley to get some insights into how The Great Protector was brought to life in the MCU. 

"For the Great Protector, we were looking at sea snakes. We were looking at traditional ribbon dancing. It gave some really cool pose movement inspiration," he says of Weta Digital's work. "There’s things in film and especially art, where you’ve got really cool serpentine poses."

"We’re trying to hit those marks, but also something that’s really user-friendly for an animator and fast in the scene as well, so you can actually work with it. We did a lot of testing at the start to try and develop those rigs and settle on something which gave us the best sort of flexibility."

We're expecting to see more dragons in the eventual Shang-Chi sequel, but this deep dive into the fantastical side of the MCU was hard to fault. Share your thought on the movie, and these images, below!

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