Shang-Chi 2: When Does It Fit Into MCU Phase 6-7?

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Shang Chi 2

Marvel Studios' Phase 4 has been all about bringing new heroes into the fold, and among the most popular new heroes was Simu Liu's Shang-Chi. Coming from director Destin Daniel Cretton, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was a major factor in resurrecting theaters during the pandemic, and the martial arts flick was an instant hit, making a sequel as inevitable as Thanos.  

The director has since moved up the ranks at Marvel Studios, with two Disney+ projects in the works - the "Hollywood satire" Wonder Man and a Ten Rings-centric spin-off to Shang-Chi. Furthermore, Cretton was given the top job of directing Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, following in the footsteps of Joss Whedon and the Russo brothers.

So, with so much on Cretton's plate already, there remains no official news on when Shang-Chi 2 will release after it was omitted from the slate for the rest of the Multiverse Saga. As the wait continues for news on the sequel with Marvel Studios' D23 presentation set for next month, when will Shang-Chi 2 be released?

7 Possible Release Dates for Shang-Chi 2

Shang-Chi 2, Katy, MCU
The Direct

Even after Kevin Feige revealed the entire Phase 5 slate, there was still one of Marvel Studios' untitled release dates left on the schedule on February 16, 2024. Many may see this as an opportunity for Shang-Chi 2 to slot into the picture, but as Deadpool 3 appears to be further along in development and nearing filming without a release date, this ought to go to the Merc with the Mouth.

Moving into 2025 and Phase 6, Marvel Studios has dates still penciled in around Fantastic FourThe Kang Dynasty, and Secret Wars - these being February 14 and July 25. These are both strong contenders for Shang-Chi 2, but there is one obstacle that could greatly affect the sequel.

Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton is placed to helm Avengers 5 for May 2025, meaning there's no way he could produce a sequel for any date in 2025. Perhaps Cretton will drop back to a producing role while another director takes the helm. But as the director had previously indicated he would be back for the follow-up, Shang-Chi 2 may have to push into Phase 7 and the next saga.

Even with the focus still placed on the Multiverse Saga, Marvel Studios has four untitled release dates in 2026, coming on February 13, May 1, July 24, and November 6. If Shang-Chi 2 is aiming to release in 2026 with Cretton remaining on as director, that would explain why he will only helm May's The Kang Dynasty and not November's Secret Wars.

Again following this path of Cretton sticking around to direct the sequel, perhaps the most probable options fall later in the year to allow over a year after The Kang Dynasty releases, especially since lead actor Simu Liu will probably be involved in Secret Wars too.

When Will Shang-Chi 2 Release?

Shang-Chi 2, Iron Fist, MCU
The Direct

So, with Marvel Studios' seven vacant release dates in mind, Shang-Chi 2 ought to fall into one of them, but which one is much harder to determine. Answering that question essentially comes down to whether Destin Daniel Cretton will be sticking around as director.

At the time of his last public comments, everything was pointing to Cretton returning for the sequel. But since then, he has been revealed to be producing Wonder Man for Disney+ and taking on the almighty responsibility of directing Avengers: The Kang Dynasty​​​​​​. 

After the first film became so massively popular, Marvel Studios may opt to replace Cretton in order to get the sequel out sooner, likely in 2025. If this were to be the case, either February 14 or July 25 are equally possible, placing the film on either side of The Kang Dynasty.

But after how popular the director's first MCU work proved to be and how much he clearly enjoyed working with those characters, chances are he'll be sticking around. So, November 6, 2026, appears to be the best success to allow the director plenty of time after The Kang Dynasty to prepare for his next Marvel production.

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

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- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.