Merchandise for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has been doing the rounds for a while, and that means we've known about "Morris" for quite some time. However, that was only in the form of a LEGO piece, and thanks to some officially released toys, the mythical creature has now been fully revealed.
Seemingly based on a Dijiang from Chinese culture, the divine bird has six legs and four wings, but no eyes or facial features of any kind, leaving it in a perpetual state of confusion. It's also fond of singing and dancing, and appears to be a sidekick of sorts for Awkwafina's Katy.
This is a weird, unexpected addition to the movie that's clearly meant to play into Chinese culture, and we have a feeling Morris is going to be a character who adorns plenty of merchandise as we head into the Christmas season following the movie's September release.
"Marvel Studios’ 'Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings' stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization," reads a brief synopsis shared by Marvel Studios.
The movie also stars Tony Leung as Wenwu, Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan, as well as Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu and Ronny Chieng. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton from a screenplay by David Callahan, Destin Daniel Cretton, and Andrew Lanham the movie is set to be released theatrically on September 3rd, 2021.
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7. The Great Protector
Fans are expecting, and hoping, to see Fin Fang Foom in Shang-Chi, but the only dragon to have been officially revealed thus far is one dubbed "The Great Protector."
There's not a Marvel Comics creature with that moniker, though we wouldn't be surprised if this is a new take on Fin Fang Foom...albeit without such a cliched, stereotypical name (let's face it, that sounds like it was created in 1961). However, he doesn't resemble that comic book villain, so we're going out on a limb to predict that The Great Protector will be a precursor to Foom.
This red and white dragon has also been spotted in LEGO sets, and that's indicated that The Great Protector is a water dragon guardian an ancient village of some sort.
We could see an entire family of dragons here, including Shou-Lao the Undying.
6. A New Take On The Ten Rings
In the comics, The Mandarin's Ten Rings are worn on his fingers and each has different abilities. That's a lot to explain in one film, and makes them a little too similar to the Infinity Stones.
If this shot of Wenwu is any indication, those have been reimagined as something this leader of the terrorist organization wears around his forearms. While they likely don't have any individual powers, we'd bet they give the real Mandarin the sort of power and influence to achieve the power he desires.
We know very little about The Mandarin and his hopes for the world (why did he capture Tony Stark again?), but rumor has it he will force Shang-Chi to enter a fight tournament and win the Ten Rings.
It's taken the villain a long time to find them, and we still don't know if they'll have alien origins.
5. The LEGO Sets
We all know better than to put too much stock into what LEGO sets "reveal" about upcoming films, but there's still some information to be gleaned from those on the way for Shang-Chi.
There's Shang-Chi seemingly training with a much smaller version of The Great Protector, and then the aforementioned "Battle at the Ancient Village" which revealed an animal sidekick called Morris based on a Dijiang from Chinese culture. That's unexpected, and something fresh for the MCU.
We've also seen an "Escape From The Ten Rings" set which indicates that Shang-Chi will have to flee from that villainous group at some stage.
Who knows if these accurately represent the film, but they do look like a cool buy for LEGO fans.
4. Shang-Chi's Father And Sister
Shang-Chi is going to be a family affair is brief character descriptions on the packaging for Marvel Legends figures are any indication.
Those confirm that Wenwu is the title character's father, while Xialing is his sister. Shang-Chi is described as being her estranged brother, and she is left with a choice in this film: to remain in her solitary life or join her brother in his battle against their father and the Ten Rings.
Something has happened in their past to create this rift, and we can't help but wonder if it was Wenwu going a step too far by kidnapping Tony Stark all those years ago.
This adds an interesting dimension to the story, and it seems Marvel Studios has turned to the comics for inspiration here (despite swapping some characters around).
3. Razor Fist, Not Fists
Among the Funko Pops release for Shang-Chi is classic comic book villain Razor Fist.
In the source material, two brothers, Douglas and William Scott took on that moniker and pretended to be one person after both losing one of their hands in a car wreck. They quickly clashed with Shang-Chi, and when William died, Douglas continued to works as a criminal, and more recently lost his other hand.
Now, he has two razors for fists, though the MCU version will only have one razor fist...which does make a lot more sense and isn't as goofy as how things have played out in the comics lately.
Will he lose his other hand after battling Shang-Chi? It could happen...
2. Death Dealer
Death Dealer is a very obscure baddie from the comics, and his history is spotty to say the least.
Marvel Studios has plans for him in Shang-Chi, however, and even though we don't know what those are, he's appeared in enough toys to make us think he'll have a decent role to play here.
All the brief character description says is, "Death Dealer is one of the most formidable opponents Shang-Chi has ever faced." We have an inkling that he's going to be revealed as one of the film's other characters, likely an ally of Shang-Chi's who betrays him by secretly working for Wenwu.
That's little more than speculation right now, but he's visually striking, and an intriguing choice of villain.
1. Shang-Chi's Superhero Costume
Well, here it is.
Simu Liu has talked about donning a legit superhero costume in Shang-Chi, and this is it. It follows the basic design from the comics, but is a little more intricate, and fits nicely into the aesthetic we're used to seeing from the MCU. For many fans, it's not quite enough, but it's realistic and definitely kind of cool.
He's a complex character, and one who we might see make the transformation from villain to hero.
Toy packaging confirms that he's been trained by the Ten Rings organization since childhood, and will be shown here forced to confront the past he escaped after fleeing from his father's clutches.