Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has reportedly recruited professional heavyweight boxer Florian Munteanu, best known for his performance as the antagonist of Creed II, as a minor villain. A new report suggests that Munteanu has joined the Shang-Chi cast as a “secondary villain” to Tony Leung’s Mandarin.
According to a report from Dark Horizons, Creed II star and professional boxer Florian Munteanu has scored a role as the secondary villain in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Production of Shang-Chi is currently underway in Sydney, Australia, where Dark Horizons is based. The Marvel comic book film has been filming in the first half the year at the Fox Studios complex in Sydney, where Thor: Love and Thunder will take over in the back half of the year.
Dark Horizons learned of the reported casting through a casting report, but Munteanu’s latest Instagram posts suggest that he has been hanging around Sydney lately.
“Another day at the office,” Munteanu writes in his most recent post, which he location tagged for Sydney, Australia.
The Romanian professional boxer and fitness model made his feature film debut in 2018’s Creed II, in which he starred as Viktor Drago, the son of Rocky Balboa’s longtime nemesis Ivan Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren. Munteanu didn’t have much to do in the film other than look menacing and beat up Michael B. Jordan, though he did well at communicating the strained relationship between Viktor and his father.
Tony Leung is still set to play the Big Bad of Shang-Chi, The Mandarin, but reports suggest that Simu Liu‘s superhero may face off with other obscure villains from the comics like Tiger-Claw, Moving Shadow, Razor-Fist, and Ghost Maker. The most likely rogue for Munteanu to play would be Ghost Maker, a martial arts master and Russian son of a KGB operative who was first introduced in Master of Kung Fu #110 (1982) by Doug Moench and Gene Day.
Anyways, take all of this with a grain of salt, as no confirmation of this casting has come from Disney or Marvel. But Munteanu’s real-life fighting skills and his experience as a formidable opponent to one big-screen hero makes him a reliable choice for a secondary villain in a Marvel movie.
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings stars Simu Liu, Tony Leung and Awkwafina. The film hits theaters February 12, 2021.