Except for The Incredible Hulk, every solo film in the MCU has expanded into a franchise over the years, with the fate of Black Widow yet to be seen. Based on this and the excellent critical response to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, a sequel to Marvel's kung fu flick is almost inevitable.
With the film still yet to hit theaters at the time of writing, the direction of the Simu Liu-led sequel remains impossible to predict. However, it appears Marvel Studios already has plans in place to continue the franchise as the film's director has teased a setting, cut from the first film, may be used in the sequel.
MARVEL ALREADY HAS SHANG-CHI SEQUEL PLANS
During a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed the studio already has plans for a sequel to Simu Liu's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
While Feige says he is “always confident and nervous in equal proportions,” the positive early reactions to Shang-Chi have given him “great hope” that “people will want to see more of these characters” in the future:
“I'm always confident and nervous in equal proportions. The early reactions to the characters and to [Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings] itself gives me great hope that that people will want to see more of these characters.”
According to Feige, the studio already “[has] many ideas” for where the film's “spectacular” cast of characters will go next as he believes they “have great potential in the future:”
“We certainly have many ideas of where to take them and where to put them. And as exactly as you say, what's so fun, we know the movie's working when it's not just the title character that people ask about, but it is the co-stars or the supporting players that people ask about. And in this movie, in particular, that's heartening because we think they're spectacular, and we think they have great potential in the future.”
Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton went on to tease “there was one setting” they wanted to use for the film but were unable to. However, the director refused to offer any hints as he hopes they “get to do it” in the sequel:
“There was one setting that we were not able to do in this movie, but I won't say what it is because I really hope that we get to do it again in another film,”
WHAT SHANG-CHI 2 SETTING IS HE TEASING?
At the time of writing, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has yet to hit theaters, making it rather hard to determine what setting he may be referencing. One potential option could be K'un-Lun, a mystical lost city that is home to Shang-Chi's fellow martial arts hero Danny Rand aka Iron Fist.
Iron Fist made his live-action debut in his own Netflix series back in 2017 played by Finn Jones. As a whole, the Marvel TV project was released to poor reception from critics and fans, with many feeling that Jones had been miscast in the role.
With Charlie Cox's Daredevil reportedly set to reappear in Spider-Man: No Way Home following the cancellation of his own series, Marvel Studios seems to be ready to begin reintroducing the Netflix heroes.
Due to their similar fighting styles, Shang-Chi 2 could be the perfect place for Iron Fist to join the wider MCU, potentially played by a new actor altogether.
HOW FAR AWAY IS SHANG-CHI 2?
Based on Feige and Cretton's comments, Marvel Studios is still in the early stages of planning a sequel to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. However, with all the extremely positive reactions to Marvel's Kung Fu flick, it wouldn't be surprising to see Shang-Chi 2 fast-tracked for a 2023 or 2024 release.
But in the meantime, Simu Liu's Shang-Chi could make an appearance in another Marvel project to begin building relationships with other heroes before he inevitably appears in Avengers 5.
Much like Paul Rudd's Ant-Man franchise, Shang-Chi takes place heavily in San Francisco. This link could open the doors to Liu popping up in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania which is currently shooting for a February 2023 release.
Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings hits theaters on September 3, 2021.