Marvel's 'Shang-Chi' halts production as director self-isolates over coronavirus concern

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Director Destin Daniel Cretton of Marvel Studios' 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' at the San Diego Comic-Con International 2019. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

Marvel Studios' Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has halted first unit production in Australia due to coronavirus concerns.

The crew on the first unit, which shoots primarily with the lead actors, were told about the suspension after director Destin Daniel Cretton self-isolated under the recommendation of a doctor.

Cretton, who has a newborn baby, is said to be awaiting the results of a test for Covid-19, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The Marvel Studios film is being made at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, where Thor: Love and Thunder is also due to shoot later this year. There are currently 156 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), including 3 deaths, in Australia.

Actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were both diagnosed with the virus while in Australia, and currently in isolation.

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A note issued to the Shang-Chi crew said the move was made with “an abundance of caution”.

Shang-Chi will be the first Asian hero to lead a MCU movie (Marvel Comics)

The note reads: As many of you know, Destin, our director, has a new born baby. He wanted to exercise additional caution given the current environment and decided to get tested for Covid-19 today. He is currently self-isolating under the recommendation of his doctor. While he waits for the results of the test, we are suspending 1st unit production in an abundance of caution until he gets the results this coming week. Second unit and off production will continue as normal. We will reach out to everyone by Tuesday for the latest update.

This is an unprecedented time. We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work through this.

The production has not ceased entirely, as second unit and other areas of production will continue.

Destin Daniel Cretton, left, and Simu Liu speaks during the "Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings" at Comic-Con International, 2019. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Simu Lui plays the lead role in Shang-Chi, based on the Marvel Comics, alongside Awkwafina and Tony Leung in undisclosed role. Michelle Yeoh has also been linked with the martial arts-tinged superhero movie.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is scheduled for release in February 2021.