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You Won't Believe How Shang-Chi's Director Captured This Scene From The Trailers

The course of true love never did run smooth, and neither does directing a multi-million dollar Marvel movie, it would seem — especially if you're also trying to work through a global pandemic. The latest film in the long-running superhero franchise, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," had to deal with plenty, not least of which were COVID restrictions and related delays.

But COVID-19 wasn't the only challenge the Simu-Liu-starring film dealt with, and recently director Destin Daniel Cretton talked about one surprising hitch he ran into while filming. In the first trailer for "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," there's a really important focus on the fractured relationship between Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and his father Xu Wenwu (Tony Chiu-Wai Leung). Wenwu is the leader of the criminal organization the Ten Rings, and he spends much of his time as a father training his son to be as strong a physical combatant as he can be.

The trailer shows us an essential callback to that past relationship, and it's a scene Destin Daniel Cretton had to direct in a very unusual way.

Directing from a phone is not easy

Parents will go to many lengths in order to shape their children into the people they believe their children must be. In the case of Wenwu and Shang-Chi, that happens through physical training. Wenwu doesn't just want an heir to his empire; he also believes he is teaching Shang-Chi how to defend himself from likely threats to his life.

Through flashbacks, we see Shang-Chi fight off hordes of attackers as he trains. We also watch him punch a post, as his legs are caned from behind. In short, it's child abuse. So there's a real tension at the start of the first trailer when Shang-Chi approaches that post as an adult. That scene, wherein Shang-Chi places his hand over the indented post and remembers the pain he's suffered, is intense — and it was also directed by Destin Daniel Cretton from afar.

"I was shooting the next morning, and I had to rush my wife to the hospital, and we had our child in the middle of the night," Cretton explained in an interview with CinemaBlend. "They were shooting the scene where Shang-Chi is home at his dad's compound, and he goes up to that post. We see it a lot. The indentation from his childhood hits. And then he sits down and has a memory of his mom. That was a scene that I actually directed from my iPhone in the hospital."

Imagine the challenge of making sure this critical emotional connection lands from a phone, while in a hospital because your spouse just gave birth. Hard to believe, but Cretton managed to get it done.

"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" is in theaters on September 3.