By now, most everyone is aware of the delays that Marvel Studios has faced this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost all of the franchise's upcoming projects were pushed back to either late 2020 or into 2021, with the exception of the first two Disney+ shows, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and WandaVision, still on track for Fall 2020 releases.
Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, the third film in Phase 4 of the MCU, is now sitting on a May 7, 2021 release date, roughly three months after its intended one. The film didn't get a chance to wrap up filming once the pandemic set in, leaving an unknown portion of it still undone. It's also likely that the Asian-led MCU film will face further delays due to filming restrictions set in certain countries. The last bit of behind-the-scenes evidence we got was when co-stars Simu Liu and Awkwafina were spotted filming a night club scene of the sorts late April.
However, some Reddit users have now unveiled new photos that show sets once again being built for Shang-Chi...
As shown from the before-and-after shot below, a tremendous amount of work has gone into constructing this single set for Shang-Chi.
WHAT THIS MEANS
As disheartening as it is to fans to have to wait for Marvel Studio's upcoming projects, it's safe to say that it's just as disheartening on the studio's end as well, especially considering all of the work that goes into these films and shows.
According to Reddit user EepOppOopOpp, the 'after' shot was taken "a few weeks ago." This could mean that filming has already started on this particular set, despite the absence of any other behind-the-scenes leaks featuring cast or crew. Marvel Studios has to retain the utmost caution during this time of uncertainty, so prying eyes may have an even more difficult time finding any juicy, uncovered details.
The set itself seems to resemble an Asian village of the sorts with a main building in the center. Off to the right, and as better seen in Reddit user Strangeboganman's photo, is a grass dome, mimicking an arena. Recent plot rumors of Shang-Chi detail Shang-Chi himself fighting in a tournament at the hand of The Mandarin, so maybe this is where he'll be showing off the full range of his mystical powers.
Nonetheless, this should come as a good sign to fans that Marvel Studios is getting ready to hop back in the production saddle (or already is). With San-Diego Comic-Com At Home looming on the horizon, this would give the studio the perfect opportunity to showcase what's been going on and reignite interest in Phase 4.