Rosalind Chao Cast in Key Role For Marvel’s Shang Chi: EXCLUSIVE

Rosalind Chao Shang Chi Header

The Illuminerdi has exclusively learned that Rosalind Chao has joined the cast of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

If it seems that there has been a lot of news coming out of Marvel Studios as of late, it’s not just your imagination. The superhero-driven studio is preparing for an aggressive expansion of their storytelling canvas, with a parade of new projects on the horizon. All you have to do is to look at recent reports about Eternals, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of the Madness, or even TV projects like Falcon and the Winter Soldier or WandaVision, to see that there is a lot going on at the Marvel Studios’ lot.

The Black Widow marketing roll-out has begun in earnest, with a series of trailers and first-looks at the upcoming Summer release and fan’s enthusiasm continues to grow. It’s the latest in a new wave of heroes that the billion dollar success of Black Panther and Captain Marvel created the foundation for. The doors have now been opened for a more diverse superhero landscape right around the corner. Currently Marvel’s Eternals is filming all over the world, while the next project in the batter’s box is Shang-Chi.

The project has been able to sail under the radar more than most, which may work to the film’s benefit when it’s released to unsuspecting audiences next year. But the eye of The Illuminerdi stays on the lookout, and we have gotten the latest on the martial arts thriller. Actress Rosalind Chao has been cast in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings as “Mom.” We weren’t able to nail down a specific name for the role, but it was strongly suggested that Chao would be playing the mother of Awkwafina’s character.

Rosalind Chao is Mom

Rosalind Chao’s Mysterious Marvel Family

Shang-Chi has placed Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy) in the director’s chair, with primary screenwriting credits going to Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984). Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience) has won the golden ticket and landed the starring role as Shang-Chi, while Tony Leung (Internal Affairs) will take on the nefarious role of The Mandarin, an iconic comic book villain from the pages of Marvel. That being said, Golden Globe winner Awkwafina (The Farewell) may prove to be the most clairvoyant casting decision for the studio.

While the film is prepping to shoot in Australia shortly, there have only been a few casting confirmations. Awkwafina’s role has been perhaps the largest mystery of the entire production. The director has publicly commented on both the lead character and his take on The Mandarin, however when Awkwafina’s character is mentioned, there’s a collective quiet. Many have speculated that she could be playing Marvel’s Fah Lo Suee. Or even more likely, that there will be a familial connection between her and The Mandarin or Shang-Chi…or the both of them. If that’s the case, the inclusion of “Mom” should make this movie rival the Fast and Furious’ penchant for family themes.


Rosalind Chao also has another connection to Disney. She will also star in this year’s anticipated blockbuster, Mulan, as Hua Li. So it’s clear that her strong work over the years isn’t going unrecognized. Chao has had a long career, after gaining attention with The Joy Luck Club, a film with huge cultural significance to the trajectory of diversity in cinema. So, it’s fitting to see her career come full circle with another project looking to break barriers.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set for release on February 12th, 2021. Who do you think Rosalind Chao, AKA Mom, is in the MCU? What do you think about Awkafina’s role in the upcoming film? Let us know in the comment section below and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!


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Braxter Timberlake

Braxter Timberlake was born in New York and raised in California. He’s a graduate of UC Berkeley and the School of Hard Knocks and is always in search of the next adventure. The daring writer and editor of The Illuminerdi is also a veteran of film and television production, with an unquenchable thirst for stories, whether on the comic page, video game console, or small, medium, or the big screen. After years of expeditions in search of K’un-Lun and Wakanda, he now spends his time investigating all things geek and shares his spoilery findings with anyone with open ears. Aside from on the internet, he can be found on the basketball court, hiking with his dog, or at a screening near you.