Who could be the first superhero of Chinese ancestry in Marvel Cinematic Universe

By Chen Xi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/16 16:13:40

Superhero comic character Shang-Chi Photo: Screenshot from Sina Weibo

Who do you think would be the best choice to be the first superhero of Chinese ancestry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

This question stirred a flood of discussion on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo on Monday after Justin Kroll, a reporter from US media company Variety, tweeted on Sunday that Marvel is looking for an actor of Chinese ancestry in his 20s for the lead role in the movie Shang-Chi.

The hashtag "Marvel's first superhero of Chinese ancestry" had reached 580 million views on Sina Weibo by Tuesday morning. Many Chinese recommended their favorite idols, but interestingly most of them did not meet the age requirement. 

"Although Ashton Chen is 31 years old, I still choose him because this handsome guy knows kung fu and speaks fluent English. His current international popularity is not high, but he can get attention through this movie. In the long run, Chen will fare better in Hollywood than other fresh young actors," one netizen commented.

Netizen Quanneidashen also launched a survey on Sina Weibo asking if people supported Ashton Chen. Results showed that 148,000 netizens chose "yes" and 45,700 netiznes chose "no."

The hashtag for "Ashton Chen" received 420 million views by Tuesday morning.

Chen was born on January 6, 1988 in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province. He has been a disciple of Shi Yongxin, the current abbot of Shaolin Temple, since he was 2 years old.

"Rather than Ashton Chen, I prefer Ludi Lin because he has filmed in major European and US productions including Black Mirror, Aquaman and Power Rangers," Shi Wenxue, a film critic living in Beijing, told the Global Times.

"I think Eddie Peng is a good candidate because he is very dedicated and has martial arts skills," Sun Jiaqing, an employee from a public service advertising company in Beijing, told the Global Times.

"I also choose Eddie Peng because his public image is positive and gives people a strong sense of security and trust. He has the temperament to be a hero," Zhang Xin, a nurse at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, told the Global Times.

Taiwan-born Canadian actor Eddie Peng was born on March 24, 1982.

"It's too ironic! I cannot even think of single qualified candidate. Young actors should learn from old martial actors such as Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen and Wu Jing with their dedication to hard work, acting and practicing kung fu, instead of being an online celebrity," one netizen commented on Sina Weibo.

According to Shi, few young actors have been taking kung fu or action roles in the past decade because the current market for kung fu and action film is shrinking. Meanwhile, more actors are choosing to take art courses or go to university for professional studies instead of learning how to be an action star from Shaolin Temple.

Shi said that kung fu and action movies are shifting toward streaming platforms due to the shrinking cinema market.

It seems that the golden age of kung fu and action movies in China has passed away.

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