Marvel's 'Shang-Chi' finds its director, awaiting star

"Shang-Chi" director Destin Daniel Cretton at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, October 2013

Marvel's "Shang-Chi," the studio's first superhero movie with an Asian lead, has found its director in Hawaiian-born Destin Daniel Cretton of indie hit "Short Term 12."

Destin Daniel Cretton and his "Short Term 12" star Brie Larson have now both found their way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Marvel's martial artist superhero Shang-Chi's powers stem in large part from his incredible command of "qi" (or "chi") energy, tapping a universal life force and combining it with his proficiency in multiple Chinese fighting styles.

Cretton directed "Captain Marvel" lead Brie Larson and is now attached to "Shang-Chi," which remains without a lead or release date for the time being.

Marvel is understood to have received a "Shang-Chi" screenplay from the co-writer of "The Expendables" and the upcoming "Zombieland" and "Wonder Woman" sequels, David Callahan, who also penned 2014 monster movie smash "Godzilla."

A good amount of mystery surrounds Marvel's strategy beyond April's "Avengers: Endgame," with "Spider-Man: Far From Home" arriving three months later in July.

Nevertheless, the studio has so far put down markers for a eight untitled releases: two in 2020, three in 2021, and three more in 2022.

As well as "Shang-Chi," other projects in development include "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" and second helpings of "Doctor Strange" and "Black Panther."

Marvel has also signed on directors for "Black Widow" and "The Eternals," with a script for "Dark Avengers" thought to have been produced.

Then there is the studio's run of Netflix spin-offs -- "Daredevil," "Jessica Jones," "Luke Cage," "Iron Fist" and "The Punisher."

Despite their general collective critical and popular success, none have featured in the MCU films, and all have had future plans halted as far as Netflix goes.

By contrast, "Avengers: Age of Ultron" characters The Vision and Scarlet Witch, the recurrent "Thor" character Loki, and "Captain America" supports Falcon and Winter Soldier are known to be featuring in three series that are being built for Marvel owner Disney and its upcoming Disney+ service.