Marvel Studios' Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings has now released two full-length trailers in advance of its September 3 theatrical release date and you might have noticed something slightly usual - his name is never spoken out loud in either trailer, neither by a character in dialogue nor as part of the voiceover narration. And that normally wouldn't be a big deal if the character name was Iron Man or Black Panther.
But in the case of Shang-Chi, a lot of people might be pronouncing it wrong.
I know I have… for a very long time, in fact.
A comic book reader since the '70s, I've been aware of Marvel Comics' Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu since his origins during the Bruce Lee-fueled kung fu craze in the 1973's Special Marvel Edition #15.
Did you know the character exists because Marvel tried to get the comic book rights to the David Carradine Kung Fu TV show but failed?
You can read all of that in our Shang-Chi explainer, but nearly 50 years of publishing history and a big-budget Marvel Studios film for what was arguably a fallback option of a failed publishing rights acquisition.
But I digress.
For well over 40-plus years I've assumed the name was pronounced 'shang (as in rhymes with the 'shang' of Shanghai), meaning with a 'long A' 'ang' sound, like bang or gang... along with a '-chee.'
And I used to work for Marvel Comics on its main editorial floor! (true story)
But no, I've been wrong all this time. That isn't how Marvel pronounces it. At least that isn't how it officially pronounces it now.
The 'chee' (as in 'cheese') is right, of course, but according to the folks at Marvel Comics, Shang is pronounced 'shong.'
The folks at Disney corroborated the Marvel pronunciation but expressed it a little differently, telling us the 'a' is pronounced with 'aah' sound or 'shaahng.'
And a couple of months back the star of Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings Simu Liu corroborated the Marvel Comics pronunciation (with emphasis on the first syllable) along with helping fans out with his own name.
Your friendly #AsianHeritageMonth reminder:“SEE-moo LEE-ew”“SHONG-chee”“Dad”Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.May 2, 2021
So 'SHONG' or 'Shaahng-chee.'
So on September 3 when you're on a line buying tickets to see Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings and you hear the people in front of you pronounce it 'shang-chee' when they ask for tickets, feel free to gently give them the correct info.
(I know, you probably buy your movie tickets with an app, but work with me here.)
Of course, sometime before September 3 someone in a new trailer or TV spot may actually say his name out loud, and the rest will take care of itself.
The More You Know...
Did you know Shang-Chi was one of the original ten comic book properties Marvel Studios was founded/funded on?