Ronnie Chieng Joins the Cast of Marvel's Shang Chi
Updated: Oct 30
Marvel Studios just added everyones favourite Malaysian Chinese actor & comedian to their roster! Ronny Chieng has been casted in an undisclosed role. But who is Ronny Chieng and who will he be?
Ronny Chieng is a Chinese comedian actor born in Malaysia. He grew up in between Singapore and the USA before settling permanently in Australia where he studied and lived for over a decade (ironically never attained Aussie citizenship). He currently resides on New York with his wife Vietnamese Australian Hanna Pham. His career started off when he teamed up with South African comedian Trevor Noah in Melbourne. He has made appearances in Australian Muslim comedy Legally Brown and on the South African-American talk show Trevor Noah show. He would then write and star in his own Australian sitcom Ronny Chieng: International Student. He made his debut in American cinema as Eddie Cheng in Crazy Rich Asians.
It is currently unknown who he will play. Being a comedy actor with little to no martial arts background may seem like a odd choice for a character in Shang Chi. But marvel did cast non martial arts actors like Finn Jones and Sacha Dhawan as Ironfist and Steel Serpent respectively. So maybe Chieng might have some training to do. Also he maybe getting the Chris Pratt or Kumail Nanjiani workout treatment. Marvel turning comedians into muscular superheroes seem to be the trend.
Possible characters that Ronny Chieng could be casted as include:
Moving Shadow - Shang Chi's half brother, sent by their father Fu Manchu (Fu Manchu will be merged with The Mandarin for the MCU). to kill Shang Chi for betraying and abandoning the family. Chieng will have to brush up on his martial arts for this type of role.
Midnight Sun - Fu Manchu adopted an African orphan after witnessing the British massacre M'Nai's village. M'Nai would be one of many "Siblings" Shang Chi ends up having to fight against. Much like Moving Shadow, Chieng would need some training but it's not likely he will play M'Nai due to M'Nai being African and not Chinese. But with MCU you never know, Italian American Theo Rossi portrayed Shade as Puerto Rican American in Luke Cage despite being Black in the comics.
Mister Negative - A popular villain in recent years after appearing in the recent Spiderman PS4 videogame. Martin Li was part of a Chinese Triad called the Snakeheads but was captured by the Maggia where Dr Simon Marshall experimented his D-Lite drug on Li alongside Tyrone and Tandy (Cloak and Dagger). Mister Negative basically possesses the same powers as Cloak and Dagger combined but unfortunately a split personality Martin Li the good side and Mister Negative the evil side. Could be perfect for Ronny Chieng to try out without needing a whole lot of martial arts experience which he lacks.
White Dragon - Leader of the Dragon Lords (another Chinese triad gang in China Town New York). He was once sent by the Hood to form an alliance with Martin Li. However Mister Negative had used his powers to corrupt White Dragon and have him betray the Hood becoming his Mr.Negative's new enforcer. Chances are if Mister Negative shows up in Shang Chi, we can expect White Dragon to do so. Aside from the typical martial arts abilities. White Dragon can spit flames from his mask. Lets hope the MCU version ain't using Extremis coz that stuff ain't good.
Red Lotus - Final possible character is Red Lotus. This character was intended to appear in Dark Phoenix before being replaced by original Maori mutant Ariki (with deadly dreadlocks). In the comic Paul Hark is a Chinese Australian mutant who was heir to the Chinese triad branch in Sydney, Australia. He was initially tricked in to believing Gambit had murdered his father but he ended up being an ally to the X-men after discovering the truth. He worked to protect Madripoor alongside the X-men against Sebastian Shaw and Lady Mastermind. He was last seen undercover in the Hell Fire Club shutting down illegal mutant slave rings. Considering his Chinese Australian background and the fact Ronny Chieng lived in Australia for over a decade (and is of Chinese descent). It seems the perfect opportunity for marvel to slowly ease in the Mutants and X-men with it's first Chinese-Australian hero (Black Panther 2 is rumoured to introduce Storm and Namor). Whilst Red Lotus and Shang Chi have never met or worked together in the comics they have a connection through the Chinese Triads in USA and Australia respectively and we could easily have the two team up.