Unlike most upcoming projects from Marvel Studios which are either sequels or have set periods of time within the Marvel Cinematic Universe like Hawkeye, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was an oddity. On its face, it wouldn't seem to be obvious when it takes place in the MCU.
The first trailer for the kung fu superhero film didn't help as it didn't establish any tangible timeline. As a result, many fans began to wonder if Shang-Chi didn't take place in the MCU's present but possibly during the five-year time skip that occurred in Avengers: Endgame.
At the beginning of Phase 4, Marvel Studios has been more than willing to be looser when these films and shows happen in the timeline. For example, despite WandaVision releasing after Spider-Man: Far From Home, the film takes place eight months after Endgame while it had just been three weeks for the Disney+ show.
Fans are curious when exactly Shang-Chi takes place in the MCU timeline, and director Destin Daniel Cretton has now given some clarification.
POST-SNAP FOR SHANG-CHI
In an interview with Fandango, director Destin Daniel Cretton was asked where Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is on the MCU timeline.
Cretton stated that "Shang-Chi is set in the present day in the MCU timeline," and when the interviewer followed up for clarification if it was "post-snap," Cretton agreed, "Yeah, yeah."
Fandango later edited the article, changing "post-snap" to "post-blip," confirming that Shang-Chi indeed takes place after Avengers: Endgame.
The director was also asked what genres he believed Shang-Chi falls under, answering, "I think Shang-Chi is a cross between a classic kung fu film and a family drama, but it's also really funny."
DURING OR AFTER FIVE-YEAR TIME SKIP
It could be construed that Cretton's response of "Yeah, yeah" wasn't apparent on which "post-snap" he believed the interviewer meant. Nevertheless, Cretton likely confirmed that Shang-Chi takes place after Endgame, especially since he stated that it is "set in the present day in the MCU timeline."
It's no surprise then that Fandango likely realized this potential confusion for readers and quickly edited its interview, changing "post-snap" to "post-blip." Cretton was confirming that Shang-Chi takes place after Endgame, leaving no ambiguity.
However, this doesn't mean that it has to take place chronologically after Spider-Man: Far From Home. As with WandaVision, the film's events could happen shortly after the events of Endgame, or it could end up further along the timeline than even Far From Home.
Fans will get the chance to find out when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings releases in theaters on September 3, 2021.