The trailer of the new Fantastic Beasts movie, released months before the movie’s premiere, has already stimulated fans’ curiosity as it is strangely connected to MCU’s Shang-Chi. As one movie is about a superhero and the other concerns wizards, they do not share lots of resemblance, however, there is one point that they have in common. Though not much of the new Fantastic Beasts movie has been revealed, it can still be seen that there is an exciting link to the newest Marvel superhero.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was the fourth MCU movie to hit the box office in 2021 and despite the difficulty of a limited theater policy due to the pandemic, managed to introduce its title hero as one of Marvel’s newest central characters. The movie Shang-Chi is to introduce new characters and storylines to MCU, claiming $432.2 million all over the world. It also featured fan’s beloved characters like Wong as well as taking Abomination back into MCU from The Incredible Hulk. Meanwhile, the newest Fantastic Beasts movie continues the saga after arguments regarding its cast list and the disappointing result of the previous Fantastic Beasts movie. This sequel is a make-or-break for the Wizarding World series.The two movies share the common inspiration of a creature from Chinese mythology. The Qilin (or Qirin) is an imaginary creature first registered in the 5th century BFE. Its head is described as dragon-shaped like in Chinese folklore and its body is horse-like. It is said that the coming of the Qilin marks the birth or death of a new ruler. In both Fantastic Beasts 3 and Shang-Chi, reinterpretations of this creature are featured, but with slight differences between the two versions.
In Shang-Chi, the Qilin is a mythical creature living in the magical land of Ta-Lo, where Shang-Chi and his friends have to come to as they try to stop the Ten Rings. Beside its established characteristic of head and body, the creature in this version also has greenish scales, antennas and a long white beard. Mandarin’s faker Trevor Slatter (Ben Kingsley) even calls it a “strange horse.” On the other hand, in the Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore trailer, we can notice a baby version of the Qilin in Newt’s arms and it appears again with Grindelwald. Another representation of this magical being is the symbol on the Portkey bell with its name on a banner.
Fantastic Beasts 3 and Shang-Chi are seemingly two completely different movies, but they share the similarity of the inspiration behind the adaptation of Qilin. This mystical creature has come from Chinese folklore to the big screen in many ways and it is no different in the two movies Shang-Chi and Fantastic Beasts 3. Both blockbusters have their own way of honoring this mythical creature of Qilin as well as forming an unexpected link between the two cinematic universes.