Marvel Studios VFX Boss Addresses Shang-Chi Multiverse Theory

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, Tony Leung as Mandarin, Jonathan Majors as He Who Remains

The Multiverse is now being pushed to the forefront in the MCU, but there are still projects that mainly focus on expanding the franchise's roster of heroes. One of them is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the film follows the origin story of Simu Liu's titular martial artist as he confronts his dark past under the tutelage of his father, the Mandarin. 

Shang-Chi introduced many notable figures that establish the character's place in the franchise's future, such as the mystical realm known as Ta Lo and the Ten Rings themselves. In addition, the film's mid-credits scene also served as the character's introduction to Earth's Mightiest Heroes. 

Despite having its own contained narrative, Shang-Chi still managed to include subtle teases that could connect to the overarching Multiverse storyline. For example, Ta Lo is set in a different realm, with dialogue hinting that it is part of an entirely new dimension. 

The mid-credits sequence also gave a hint that the Ten Rings could have originated from a different plane of existence. This ultimately led to theories about its connection to the Multiverse.

Now, the film's VFX supervisor addressed this subject in a new interview.

Shang-Chi & the Legend of the Multiverse 

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings VFX supervisor Christopher Townsend sat down with Comicbook to talk about the potential connection of the Mandarin's Ten Rings to the Multiverse. 

Townsend first admitted that he can't say anything about the Multiversal connection, pointing out that they "just need to let it sort of evolve:"

"I mean, one of the great things about MCU is the intertwined nature of all aspects, which I think is one of the fun parts of working in these films. So I don't want to say more, to be honest, I think that we just need to let it sort of evolve. Because often it is an evolving thing, that as one story arc happens in a film, it then spurs other conversations and other story arcs and then eventually."

The Marvel VFX supervisor then referenced Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War when it comes to tying up loose ends, with Townsend saying that fans will get to "see more of that as the MCU develops:"

"And I think Endgame particularly, and Infinity War were great in sort of bringing a lot of those loose ends back together. And I think that you are going to see more of that as the MCU develops."

In the movie, the Ten Rings had a similar design to the Multiversal diagram created by Jonathan Majors' He Who Remains in the Loki finale, thus fueling fan theories about the subject. 

He Who Remains, Loki
Marvel Studios

Townsend has worked on the visual effects of several MCU films for Marvel Studios, such as Captain Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Iron Man 3, and Avengers: Age of Ultron

Shang-Chi's Connections to the Multiverse 

From the introduction of dragons and the Ten Rings' mysterious origins, Shang-Chi's third act is full of surprises. In turn, this sparked discussion on social media regarding the Ten Rings' true nature and its potential danger to Earth. 

In the mid-credits scene, the Ten Rings appear to be sending out a signal to an unknown source. Given that the MCU is now diving deep into the concept of alternate realities, it makes sense that one of the famous fan theories is connected to the Multiverse. 

Townsend's latest comments suggest that there is indeed a Multiversal connection, but it could end up being a heavy spoiler if revealed. It remains to be seen how the Ten Rings connect to the larger Multiverse, especially considering that Wong, who is now the Sorcerer Supreme, appears to be unaware of the artifacts' codex. 

Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton previously addressed the scene, saying fans shouldn't have to "dig very deep" in the comics to find out what's happening. Cretton's remark strongly hints that he might be referring to Fin Fang Room's arrival, but it's worth noting that the character is from space and not the Multiverse. 

However, upon analyzing the combined comments of Townsend and Cretton, it's reasonable to assume that the MCU's Fin Fang Foom could come from a different universe, thus wreaking havoc on Earth in Shang-Chi's sequel. 

The Ten Rings' similar design to He Who Remains' Multiversal diagram could hint at the artifacts' connection to a different universe. This could be Shang-Chi and Loki's way of tying loose ends together, similar to what Endgame and Infinity War did during the Infinity Saga. 

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now streaming on Disney+.

Release Date
September 03, 2021
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.