Where was Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Filmed?
Sydney, San Francisco, Macau
American, Hotels/Motels, Studios
Hotel/Motel Style, Contemporary
About Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a superhero adventure film that was in development since 2001. It took two decades before the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie made its big-screen debut. It’s safe to say that the wait was worthwhile, and the scores of box-office records and accolades back this statement.
Destin Daniel Cretton directed the superhero flick, which he also co-wrote in collaboration with Andrew Lanham and Dave Callaham. Simu Liu headlines the movie as Shang-Chi, and he shares the screen with Awkwafina, Fala Chen, Benedict Wong, Ben Kinsley, Meng'er Zhang, and other big names.
The MCU hero character is introduced as Shaun, an Asian transplant living in San Francisco. He earns a living by working as a parking attendant alongside his best friend Katy Chen (Awkwafina).
Shang-Chi has links with the Ten Rings organization through his father Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung), who heads the clandestine criminal operation. The Ten Rings organization also features in other MCU films like the three Iron Man movies and Ant-Man.
Shang-Chi has to revisit the past when Ten Rings henchmen attack him. Fearing they might also go after his estranged sister Xialing (Zhang), he reunites with her. Both escaped their father’s custody as teens, and they join forces to stop their father from essentially causing apocalyptic doom.
Shang-Chi broke barriers, being the first MCU film helmed by an Asian director and featuring a primarily Asian cast. The production earned a Best Visual Effects nomination for the 2022 Academy Awards.
Critics praised the representation and exploration of Asian culture, the choreography of the Shang-Chi action scenes, stunning visuals, and the cast’s stellar performances. The film had a lower budget when compared to other MCU films, but it performed exceptionally well at the box office.
It raked in $432 million worldwide against a production budget of $150 million. Cretton is slated to pen the screenplay and direct the movie’s sequel.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Locations
Once Cretton joined the Shang-Chi production team in early 2019, the project was fast-tracked, and filming commenced. Principal photography kicked off in February 2020 but the pandemic forced the cast and crew to halt production for five months.
A bulk of the film was shot in Sydney, Australia, both on-location and at sound stages. Several locations around the state of New South Wales provided additional backdrops for some of the production’s scenes. The Australian Government also backed up the project via the Location Incentive program.
On-screen, the story predominantly takes place in China and cuts across different periods. The production team transported viewers into the magical realm by using authentic weaponry, detailed costumes, makeup, and film sets.
During post-production, the team turned to editorial service providers around Adelaide, Melbourne, and New South Wales. That brings us to the best scenes in Shang-Chi and a breakdown of where they were recorded.
Rapper/comedian/actress Awkwafina’s character didn’t have any superpowers but she made up for it with her archery skills. The Golden Globe winner picked up archery while preparing for her role in the film.
The bus fight scene in Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Fox Studios, Sydney
The bus fight sequence is an integral part of the storyline, and it was also the premise for Cretton’s pitch about the film. He always enjoyed on-screen fights that leveled up the stakes, and that sums up the Shang-Chi action sequences.
On a bus ride to work, a group of mercenaries attacks Shaun and Katy. He skillfully takes them on, and while he manages to defeat them, they make away with a pendant he received from his late mother, Ying Li (Chen). After witnessing him in action, Katy confronts Shaun, and he eventually opens up about his past.
Katy also provides plenty of funny quips throughout the film, like when she says, “I know you don’t like to talk about your life, but a guy with a freaking machete for an arm just chopped our bus in half!”
Located at 38 Driver Avenue, Building16 at the based Fox Studios is where the production team set up shop for the interior scenes of the bus fight sequence. They also filmed several other scenes at the location, including the interior scenes of Shang-Chi’s house.
The grounds house nine soundstages which have also served as the setting of several other movies like The Matrix and Mad Max: Fury Road. Make your way to the Shang-Chi location via bus 396, 339, 374, or 355. The L2 and L3 light rail can also get you there.
San Francisco scenes in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Clement Street, San Francisco
Wenwu’s enemies murdered Li when Shang-Chi is seven years old. It’s the turning point for his father, who also trains him to become an assassin. Acting on his father’s orders, he assassinated the Iron Gang’s leader at 14.
Finding it hard to come to terms with what he did, Shang-Chi runs away from home and goes to San Francisco. He starts going by the name Shaun and makes friends in the city.
Shang-Chi manages to create a new life for himself, but his father’s words haunt him when the Ten Rings honchos attack. Wenwu told his son, “My son, you can’t run from your past.”
A postal card that features prominently in the film reveals that Shang-Chi lives at 1045 Euclid, San Francisco. Searching for it on Google maps it brings up a location at the intersection of Arguello Boulevard and Euclid Avenue. It’s reportedly deliberate to protect the homeowner’s privacy.
The filmmaker might have taken creative liberties with the address, but the home does exist in real life. Recorded on sound stages, the filmmakers modeled Shang-Chi’s abode to mirror an apartment found on Clement Street.
Viewers can see the street from Shang-Chi’s window and, to achieve this, the production team shut down the entire area. The affected residents and businesses were reportedly also compensated.
Interviewed by the San Francisco Examiner, Cretton explained that there’s something magical about the city and he always aspired to film something there. The producers wanted a city with a strong connection with the immigrant experience, particularly when it comes to Chinese immigrants. Hence why they chose San Francisco as one of the production locations.
Bus sequence scene in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco
The bus scene is epic because it sets in motion a series of events that reunites Shang-Chi and his sister. It also leads him back to his father, bringing to mind his mother’s wise words.
“You are a product of all who came before you, the legacy of your family. You are your mother, and whether you like it or not, you are also your father.”
It’s also memorable because of the Shang-Chi filming locations featured in the sequence. Besides partially being filmed at the Fox Studios soundstage, the bus sequence was shot around San Francisco. Locals will quickly point out that the bus chase route wasn’t quite accurate, and they’ll also pick up on the fictitious SFT logo.
The San Francisco neighborhoods of Nob Hill, Russian Hill, and Noe Valley also had cameos during the bus sequence. Other City landmarks, including the San Fran skyline, Stockton Tunnel, and California Street are also visible in that scene.
The sequence concludes at Ghirardelli Square with a view of the water, and the massive destruction in the backdrop. Cretton explained that it took five days to film the bus sequence, and they tried to involve Muni in the project.
However, the fuel-efficient transit company wasn’t too keen on having their name attached to the film. Perhaps the image of a bus rushing down a hill after its brakes go out wouldn’t have painted the brand in the best light.
Get to Ghirardelli Square via the 49, 28, or 30 bus. The Yellow, Blue, Red, or Green Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system can also get you there.
Ta Lo scenes in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Prospect Reservoir, Sydney
One of the film’s earlier scenes is set in 1996 when Wenwu sets off in search of the village of Ta Lo. The magical locale is said to house mythical beasts which are crucial in his world dominion plans.
His quest leads him through a magical forest, and he eventually finds himself at the village entrance. That’s where he meets Li, and they end up falling in love. When the villagers of Ta Lo don’t accept Wenwu, Li elopes with him, and they soon welcome their two children.
The village is also where Morris, who is Shang-Chi’s animal sidekick, hails from. Morris is a half-man mythical creature who is tasked with protecting the siblings, Katy, and Trevor Slattery (Kingsley) on their journey to Ta Lo. One of the film’s best lines is an exchange between Morris and Slattery.
Following an attack on the village, Morris finds Slattery lying on the ground. Slattery proceeds to tell him, "Calm down, mate! I'm not dead, it's just a performance! Now get down here and play along!"
The crew and cast also filmed the Ta Lo scenes shot on a specially constructed film set at Prospect Reservoir. Worth noting is that the Prospect Nature Reserve closed access to the public indefinitely.
The Andrew Campbell Reserve is situated at William Lawson Drive, within the general Prospect Reserve area. It gets you close enough to the Shang-Chi filming location, and you’ll find picnic tables at the site.
Macau fight scene in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Fearing that the henchmen who attacked him would go after his sister, Shang-Chi and Katy set off to Macau, China in search of Xialing. While Shang-Chi went through intense martial arts training in his earlier years, their father didn’t allow Xialing to learn how to fight.
Still, she secretly taught herself the combat discipline and established an underground fight club. That’s where Shang-Chi and Katy find her upon arriving in Macau.
While Shang-Chi is undoubtedly a great fighter, he accidentally signs up for a duel at his sister’s club. He is reluctant to face his opponent but Katy, who believes in him, convinces him to try it out. His response is, “if I die, it’s your fault!”
The “Las Vegas of Asia” served as the setting for the Shang-Chi action scene. Located on China’s south coast, Macau is renowned for its nightlife and casinos.
Several other scenes were also filmed in China or modeled to mirror distinct landmarks found around the country. For instance, the Karst Mountains in the Guilin and Lijiang River National Park resemble the computer-generated landmarks in the Ta Lo scenes.
Xu Wenwu discovers ten rings scenes in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Centennial Park, New South Wales
The film opens several thousand years ago when Wenwu unearths the mystical ten rings. Based on the Marvel Comics Mandarin’s rings, the ten iron rings can grant godly powers and immortality.
Armed with the magical rings, Wenwu establishes the Ten Rings organization. He goes about using the powers to topple governments and conquer kingdoms. It’s one of the many reasons he has a strained relationship with his children. Shang-Chi spelled it out by telling his father, “you’re just a criminal who murders people.”
The suburb of Centennial Park also served as the setting for some of Wenwu’s opening sequences. Covering about 154 hectares the grounds feature wetlands, gardens, cycle tracks, and sports fields.
Get to the Shang-Chi filming location via bus 355, 200, 339, or 333. The L2 light rail and SCO or T4 train lines will also get you there.
There are certainly several more Shang-Chi locations worth exploring if you end up in Macau, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Sydney. Fisherman’s Wharf, which is a popular San Francisco attraction, had a cameo in the movie.
White Bay, located near Sydney Harbour, provided the setting for some of the film’s scenes. The Fairmont San Francisco is where Shang-Chi and Katy worked as valets. It’s also where the duo started their joyride in a red BMW.
The distinct winding road of the high-end San Francisco neighborhood of Russian Hill is also seen in the movie. Hotel Lisboa Macau had an overhead shot featured in the movie.