Shang-Chi 2 Got Its First Real Positive Update In Months

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The MCU’s sequel to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has received a rare update courtesy of Marvel director Destin Daniel Cretton. Shang-Chi 2 finally gets a production update two years after Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ release and four months after the last comment by MCU star Simu Liu.

Despite the large number of upcoming MCU movies and shows, various Phase 4 & 5 titles are yet to have a confirmed sequel on the MCU’s slate. One of those is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which not only gave the franchise a breath of fresh air with the introduction of many new characters and MCU locations but also succeeded both critically and commercially. Two years after its release, the MCU’s unconfirmed Shang-Chi sequel is still in its earliest stage of development.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings established its titular hero as a promising MCU hero, and its two post-credits scenes set up at least three future storylines. First, Shang-Chi’s first post-credits scene sees Shang-Chi meet four Avengers: Wong, Captain Marvel, and Bruce Banner, who offer to recruit him to the team. Second, the Avengers’ interest in the Ten Rings in the same scene suggests that the weapons will become key to a future MCU movie. And third, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ second post-credits scene reveals Xialing’s new version of the Ten Rings organization. But by the middle of Phase 5, none of these setups seem to be turning relevant anytime soon.

On November 15, 2023, THR reported that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton departed Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, which he was attached to direct. According to the same report, however, Cretton will focus on directing Shang-Chi 2, after which he will move on to the TV series Wonder Man. Although indirectly so, this marks the first concrete update on the Shang-Chi sequel since Simu Liu confirmed that the movie would follow the next Avengers crossover film.

Considering how close together Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Shang-Chi 2 would have been, Cretton’s departure from the Avengers sequel seems like a reasonable decision for the director. Destin Daniel Cretton’s new focus on Shang-Chi 2 after his exit from Marvel’s 2026 crossover Avengers: The Kang Dynasty suggests that the Shang-Chi sequel is still a key piece of the MCU’s slate. Retaining the original director is a good sign for the movie, as Marvel has previously brought back directors after their first movie proved to be a hit. For instance, the Russo brothers returned for the widely successful Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame after Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s positive reception. Of course, a director’s return doesn’t guarantee a similar performance, but it shows how much faith the studio has in the sequel.

The MCU’s slate is constantly shifting due to a variety of factors, including delays, side effects from the 2023 writers and actors’ strikes, and changes in Marvel Studios’ plans for the franchise. As of Shang-Chi 2’s latest update in November 2023, Marvel Studios only has three untitled movie projects on its slate, all of them set to release in 2026: one before Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, in February 2016, and two afterward, in July and November 2026, respectively. Given Simu Liu’s comments about Shang-Chi 2’s potential release, it’s possible that the Shang-Chi sequel could be one of the two untitled Marvel Studios projects releasing in 2026 after Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.

It’s always possible that the MCU’s constant delays and slate changes move Shang-Chi 2’s release date after 2027’s Avengers: Secret Wars. However, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ first post-credits scene suggests that the Ten Rings will be important elements in the MCU’s Multiverse Saga. Hence, Shang-Chi 2’s release is unlikely to move past the end of the MCU’s current saga. Perhaps Shang-Chi’s second solo movie will be the bridge between the MCU’s next two Avengers movies, which would put it between their current May 2026 and May 2027 release dates: possibly right in the middle, precisely in the November 2026 slot one of Marvel’s untitled movie projects is currently attached to.

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