Marvel Studios is currently hard at work on pushing its Multiverse Saga forward on the course to Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. Along the way, the stories told have varied from game-changing adventures with fan-favorite heroes such as Spider-Man: No Way Home to standalone tales with new faces like Shang-Chi.
But as the months and years pass taking the MCU ever closer to Avengers 5, the overarching story is only expected to heat up, especially with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania poised to formally introduce the next big bad in Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror.
Quatumania is currently the only Phase 5 flick confirmed to directly impact The Kang Dynasty - although rumors indicate The Marvels may hold some surprises. But now, a new report may have pointed to another MCU entry that could hold some influence over the next Avengers blockbuster.
Marvel's Big Shang-Chi Plans
The untitled Marvel movie release dates left in the Multiverse Saga fall on July 25 and November 7, 2025, as well as February 12, 2026. So, after the last shift to the release calendar, Disney has no spare release dates to give before Avengers 5.
However, the latest rumors indicate Sony Pictures is eyeing for Spider-Man 4 to release on July 12, 2024.
Charles Murphy speculated in his report that The Kang Dynasty could see a push into that July 25 date - which could ultimately land later due to a Spider-Man 4-induced delay - and allow Shang-Chi 2 to take over the May 2, 2025 date.
Alternatively, February 14, 2025, was originally rumored to see the release of Shang-Chi 2 before calendar shifts pushed Fantastic Four into that date. That project has since moved to November 7, 2025, which could mean that Shang-Chi 2 has seen changes that mean it no longer has to fall before Avengers 5.
Of the two options, the latter may prove more likely, as every past Avengers movie has arrived in May. Then again, prior to delays, Secret Wars was meant to release in November 2025, just six months after The Kang Dynasty, indicating Marvel Studios no longer feels obligated to reserve its Avengers flicks for May or April
How Will Shang-Chi 2 Connect to Avengers 5?
As of now, both Shang-Chi 2 and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty are set to be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, so hearing the two flicks may be somewhat connected shouldn't come as a huge surprise. However, this desired release order could actually be to accommodate Cretton's schedule as opposed to teasing any story connections.
With Cretton expected to direct both projects, releasing the pair close together may be tough unless Shang-Chi 2 were to be filmed far in advance and released first. There were reports that the sequel may film as soon as 2023, which could allow the director to complete that movie before turning his attention to the Avengers.
Alternatively, Cretton's hiring for Avengers 5 could be a sign of major links between his Shang-Chi franchise and the next climactic MCU ensembles. One theory explained that the post-credits scene to Legend of the Ten Rings actually set up The Kang Dynasty in major ways, which might only be furthered in the sequel.
Back in 2018, Ant-Man and the Wasp was released between Infinity War and Endgame in the midst of the tension with Thanos. That story took place roughly alongside the Avengers' chaotic battle before ending with a game-changing cliffhanger that set the stage for the next chapter in a major way.
Shang-Chi 2 could aim to do something similar in November 2025 between The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars, although that may be tough with Simu Liu's hero rumored to be a major player in Avengers 5. But unless Marvel Studios is looking to delay its next climactic ensemble, that may be its best option.
Only time will tell what Marvel Studios has planned for Shang-Chi 2, but fans will likely learn more in the coming months as both the martial arts sequel and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty inch closer to production.