Local boy behind next Marvel superhero film

A Hawaii-born filmmaker is the writer and director of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Marvel’s highly anticipated superhero film and the first with an Asian protagonist.

Destin Daniel Cretton, 42, a Haiku, Maui-born native, is the screenwriter for the film, collaborating with David Callaham and Andrew Lanham. The much-delayed film, produced by Marvel Studios and being distributed by Disney, will star Simu Liu as the title character, with Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Awkwafina among the cast.

Destin Daniel Cretton

“Shang-Chi” was to have been released in February, but was detained till May, then later delayed to July, because of the prevailing pandemic. Now the release date is set for Sept. 3 this year Cretton has been quoted to say he wanted “in” on this project because he wanted “to give (his) son a superhero to look up to.” Liu, a Chinese Canadian actor, is cast as the fictional title character, a skilled martial artist trained by his father to be an assassin. Leung Chiu-wai, a well-known Hong Kong actor, plays the father, Wenfu. Awkwafina, born Nora Lum, is a comedian with a growing list of Hollywood credits with Asian themes, including “Crazy Rich Asians” and “The Farewell.” She plays Kay.

In the 25th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shang-Chi is forced to confront his past after being pulled into the Ten Rings Organization, a terrorist group seeking to destroy world peace.

Cretton is married and has two children.He has been a prolific film-maker, writing and directing his projects, including “The Glass Candle” in 2017 and “Just Mercy” in 2019.