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One of the most highly anticipated titles in Marvel's forthcoming Phase 4 is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The movie is set to introduce Marvel's first Asian superhero lead, while also, based on the title, delving into some of the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe characters. It's also going to have a predominantly Asian cast, an, new reports are indicating that Star Trek: Discovery's Michelle Yeoh might be about to join that cast.
Reports first broke over the weekend that Michelle Yeoh was in talks for a role in the film and Comicbook.com has independently confirmed those reports. While there's no detail on exactly who Yeoh could play or how the character will fit into the story, it looks like there's a good chance she'll be joining the current cast, which includes Simu Liu in the title role, along with Awkwafina and Tony Chiu-Wai Leung as the real Mandarin.
Of course, if you've been paying attention, you know that this wouldn't be Michelle Yeoh's first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe if she does join Shang-Chi. The actress appeared in a cameo during the funeral of Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as Aleta Ogord. While nothing has been confirmed, it appears that Yeoh would not be reprising that role in Shang-Chi, but would instead be playing somebody new. It's not too surprising, while it's always possible Shang-Chi could have cosmic elements involved, in the comics the Mandarin's magic comes from alien technology, it doesn't feel like that's the direction this movie plans to go.
While still unusual, it's not unheard of to see actors playing multiple roles within the MCU. Gemma Chan is set to play a role in the upcoming The Eternals, after playing a different character in Captain Marvel. Mahershala Ali will be the MCU's Blade after playing a villain in the first season of Luke Cage.
A lot of fans had serious issues with the way Iron Man 3 changed up the story of The Mandarin, a classic Iron Man villain, but a Marvel short, All Hail the King, reveals that the real Mandarin does exist. The title of the new Shang-Chi film is a reference to the Ten Rings organization led by him. However, that single piece of information is about all the title tells us and about all we really know about the movie as a whole. The movie is just over a year away, so the casting of Michelle Yeoh is likely one of the last things the film needs to do before going into full production. Once that happens we'll start to get a few more details about exactly what Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings is about, and how it will fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
We'll see two other Phase 4 Marvel movies before we get to Shang-Chi, Black Widow will be hitting theaters in may, followed by The Eternals in November.