The trailer of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings supports the internet theory that the story of the movie involves a certain Mortal Kombat aspect to it. The movie is a part of Marvel Studios’ Phase 4. It will introduce Simu Liu as the Master of Kung Fu, bringing several different martial artists to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Along with Shang-Chi, the actual Mandarin and dragons are coming into the mix as well. Marvel kept the major plot details under wraps, but we’ve at least got some idea after the release of the first trailer. And, the footage has supported a long-standing theory.
The earliest rumor related to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is that the plot resembles a Mortal Kombat fighting tournament. This plot for the movie was a part of a Marvel leak. It claimed that the tournament was a key aspect of the story. The casting rumors also supported this claim that a tournament is shown prominently. The timing of Shang-Chi borrowing from the Mortal Kombat setup comes at the same time when Warner Bros. is rebooting the famous video game franchise with a new live-action movie.
Marvel Studios have not yet confirmed the Mortal Kombat similarities. But there may be some concrete evidence of MCU getting a fighting tournament. One of the locations shown in the first trailer of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a fighting arena in Madripoor. The crowded area is full of spectators and combatants. All of them have surrounded an elevated and caged fighting ring. The trailer has not shown too much of the action that happens in the location. But the location looks like a perfect setting for a martial arts tournament.
Shang-Chi has been confirmed to be a participant in such a contest. He is shown fighting his sister Xialing. It looks like Razor Fist is also present in that arena. Razor Fist might be one of the contestants in the tournament. These minor moments support the idea that MCU is going to have its own Mortal Kombat movie during Phase 4. Well, there are a few legitimate signs of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings which also included a tournament. Now the question is what is at stake with the fights? It might be a bit smaller in scope than what Mortal Kombat deals with. But the rumors of the MCU’s movie point towards the prize which is the Ten Rings of power. The trailer showed us how these Rings have got a new look in the MCU, and the Mandarin wears them on his arms.
Mandarin presumably convinces Shang-Chi to enter the tournament on his behalf. Because the Marvel villain is shown wearing the Ten Rings, the trailer suggests he was the owner of the rings and Shang-Chi will have to win them from his father. Even though MCU may include a Mortal Kombat styled fighting tournament in the Shang-Chi movie, it still doesn’t appear to be as central to the plot.
The trailer shows many locations and action set pieces, but just one among them is in the possible tournament setting. The main story of Mortal Kombat on the other hand is based on a fatal tournament to find Earth’s best defenders for protecting it from an Outworld invasion. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings might feature a fighting tournament, but only for a small segment of its runtime. Still, we’re at least getting it, along with the ancient Legends of the Ten Rings, as the title and the trailer suggests. So, it’s a win-win! And it’s actually good because Marvel has kept things original by not keeping the tournament as the central aspect of the film.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is scheduled to release in theatres on September 3, 2021. The film has been written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. It features Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu, and Ronny Chieng in the lead roles.
Here’s the official synopsis for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings:
“Simu Liu stars as Shang-Chi in Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings. Shang-Chi must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.”