Kung Fu Panda fans praise ‘legendary’ new villain as trailer for fourth film released

 (DreamWorks Animation)
(DreamWorks Animation)
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The hotly anticipated trailer for the Jack Black-led Kung Fu Panda 4 has finally been unveiled eight years after the last film in the hit action-comedy franchise series was released.

Fans are already praising the movie’s “legendary” new villain as a worthy opponent to Black’s character Po, following the trailer release on Wednesday (13 December).

EGOT winner Viola Davis joins the film’s cast as The Chameleon, a powerful shapeshifting sorceress on a mission to bring back every villain Black’s titular character Po has vanquished to the spiritual realm.

The trailer for Kung Fu Panda 4 begins with a promotion for Po the panda, the world’s unlikeliest kung fu master, who has been named “Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace”.

According to the official synopsis, this role “poses a couple of obvious problems” for him. “First, Po knows as much about spiritual leadership as he does about the paleo diet, and second, he needs to quickly find and train a new Dragon Warrior before he can assume his new lofty position. “

However, The Chameleon, “a tiny lizard who can shapeshift into any creature large or small”, looks poised to get in Po’s way.

The trailer release was preceded by Davis’s casting announcement, first shared on Instagram yesterday (12 December).

In a video recorded as a FaceTime call, Black, 54, revealed that Davis, 58, is joining the Kung Fu Panda family as The Chameleon in the animated film’s fourth installment.

Commenting on the video, which earned over 208.000 likes at the time of writing, one person wrote: “FINALLY, A WORTHY OPPONENT, THIS MOVIE SHALL BE LEGENDARY!”

“Finally, a worthy female villain. Viola is going to kill it,” another comment read.

“I am super excited to be joining you as The Chameleon,” The How to Get Away with Murder star told Black, before “shapeshifting” into Awkwafina.

The Crazy Rich Asians star is another new entrant, with Awkwafina set to play the role of Corsac fox Zhen in the forthcoming movie, releasing next March.

Everything Everywhere All at Once star Ke Huy Quan has also been roped in to play the role of Han, the leader of the Den of Thieves.

In addition to Golden Globe nominee Black, returning cast members include Ian McShane as Tai Lung, Bryan Cranston as Li Shan, James Hong as Mr Ping, and Dustin Hoffman as Master Shifu.

Kung Fu Panda 4 is set to be released in March 2024 .