Wenwu’s compound goes through three different incarnations in the movie
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” utilizes flashbacks to help tell the story, so we see different versions of Wenwu’s compound throughout time. Each one had a different look.
“The first one was when he is just the Mandarin and he is building this army and he spends a thousand years being the leader of an organization that are committed to unsavory things. And so that compound is very grey — the symbols of power are very prevalent,” Chan said.
“But then when he marries Li, that needs to be transformed into something that reminds us of the village or rather foreshadows the village. So when she comes in and completely recreate that home, it becomes a home where it was just a fortress before.”
However, upon Li’s death, when Wenwu takes up the ten rings again, the compound reverts back to its original form, although there are echoes of Wenwu’s happier time as part of a family.
“You need to see the parts of the home that make you sort of sad that this was a happy place, but you see it covered in this veneer of… this man who has lost his way and has gone back to his dubious pastime and is really just missing his family,” Chan said.
“And so those three incarnations have to feel legitimate in order for the actors to feel that they’re acting in a proper environment.”