Now, the next project will be the first true origin story since 2019's Captain Marvel. Shang-Chi tickets are on sale, and the Ten Rings story will be told on September 3.
The Infinity Saga has come and gone, and the memories shared by fans across the world will live forever. So far, with every title of Phase 4 being led by established characters in the MCU, Marvel Studios has both paid tribute to the past while also charting the course for the future.
Shang-Chi is set to be the first project to introduce the new breed of heroes in the MCU with their own solo movies.
While fans are excited for the unprecedented waters Simu Liu and company are about to dive into, in true MCU form, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is still paying homage to those heroes who came before.
A PRODUCT OF ALL WHO CAME BEFORE
In a recent promotional trailer from the official Shang-Chi Twitter account, footage of Iron Man's suit, Captain America's shield, and Thor's hammer were presented over the narration "You are a product of all who came before you." This was immediately followed by a shot of the Ten Rings, which are set to be one of the main focuses of the film:
This was paired with a featurette starring Simu Liu (Shang-Chi) and Awkwafina (Katy) discussing the best team-ups in the MCU. Liu was asked which Marvel heroes he would team up with for certain situations, including Captain Marvel for an alien invasion and Iron Man for a slice of pizza:
Choose your Marvel team up! Who would you pick to experience #ShangChi and the Legend of the Ten Rings with you in theaters September 3?! Get tickets now: https://t.co/PeUKzfdj1a pic.twitter.com/ksfB9pzS61
This promotion is on the heels of Shang-Chi tickets going on sale and the first official clip of the film being released.
LEGACY OF THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE
Legacy seems to be one of the overarching themes of Shang-Chi in more ways than one.
The plot of the movie highlighted in trailers has been the "sins of the father" story between Liu's Shang-Chi and his father, The Mandarin, played by Tony Leung Chiu-wai. Beyond this surface-level story of who you are meant to be, there seems to be some meta-themes happening with Shang-Chi ushering in a new breed of Marvel superheroes.
While Shang-Chi is the first Marvel hero being introduced without any teases in previous projects, this movie is not without ties into the MCU lore. The Ten Rings and The Mandarin have both been antagonistic pieces of the Iron Man franchise. And while the Ten Rings were introduced as a terrorist organization in Iron Man, and The Mandarin was presented as a ploy for Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3, both elements are positioned to change completely in Shang-Chi.
This promotional video focuses on those rings that seem to be a mystical weapon used by both Shang-Chi and his father in trailer footage. Marvel superheroes are synonymous with their signature weapon of choice, and the Ten Rings seem to be entering the chat. While fans will have a hard time comparing anything to Tony's suits, Cap's shield, or Thor's hammer, the Ten Rings seem to be a powerful and important tool in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Past the story elements this movie is using to show the themes of legacy and tribute, there is something surrounding Shang-Chi that feels like a throwback Marvel movie. With 28 projects officially on the MCU timeline ranging from major event movies to deep-dives into old characters, the origin story has been few and far between in recent years.
Considering both T'Challa and Peter Parker were introduced in Captain America: Civil War, there have only been two true origin stories in the MCU since the beginning of Phase 3. With Captain Marvel being set in the '90s, Shang-Chi will be the first time an audience is introduced to a new main character in the present canon since 2016's Doctor Strange.
While this movie is expected to be new and fresh, this promotional footage shows that Shang-Chi is not shying away from the high bar set by the MCU legends that came before it.
Also, the featurette implies that Shang-Chi could be teaming up with other MCU heroes in the future, which is really what the people want to see.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings debuts in theaters on September 3, 2021.