Shang-Chi – With the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the MCU is now officially entering Phase 5.
While the six films that comprise Phase 5 have already been set, they could open the door for the return of characters introduced in Phase 4, including Shang-Chi.
Simu Liu, the actor who brought the first Asian superhero into the big screens, has hinted that his return may be sooner than most people think.
The film’s success
Shang-Chi made his MCU debut as the second piece of Phase 4 in 2021.
Simu Liu breathed life into the underrated superhero, establishing Shang-Chi’s power and right to exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The film was a massive success as the world was slowly healing from the effects of the pandemic, and it earned Marvel millions worldwide.
The critical reception was also favorable, and Marvel Studios moved quickly to appease fans who wanted to see more of Simu Liu as Shang-Chi.
The sequel was put into development.
However, outside his solo titles, Shang-Chi is expected to take up arms alongside the Avengers in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.
The only problem is that both film projects will likely be released in a few years.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings debuted in September 2021, nearly two years ago.
With the film’s anniversary around the corner, Simu Liu has hyped fans by teasing Shang-Chi’s return to come sooner than expected.
He recently sat down for an interview with media outlet People, sharing his hope of the character crossing over with other MCU names.
Simu Liu expressed his admiration for the MCU’s actors and characters, barely containing his excitement to work with them.
“And who knows, [fans] might see something sooner than you think,” he teased. “We’ll see.”
What could it mean?
Simu Liu’s words imply that Shang-Chi’s MCU return would be an unexpected one.
It also raises hopes that he will appear earlier than Shang-Chi 2, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and Avengers: Secret Wars.
The three MCU films are expected to bring Shang-Chi into the fray one way or another.
However, none of them are going to appear until at least two or more years.
Instead, there are chances that Shang-Chi will pop up in one of the upcoming MCU films:
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
- The Marvels
- Captain America: New World Order
Apart from the main films, the door is still open for him to drop in on any of the MCU series:
- Secret Invasion
- What If…?
- Agatha: Coven of Chaos
- Daredevil: Born Again
The most likely suspect
With over 12 upcoming projects, Simu Liu could make a return in at least one or more projects.
Fans are hoping to see Shang-Chi become a member of the new Avengers team that Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) is forming.
The MCU series on Disney+ have already confirmed that Shang-Chi is joining the second season of What If…? which could be what Liu was referring to.
Kang and the Ten Rings
Shang-Chi is undoubtedly set for a prominent role in the MCU as the entirety of Phase 4 and the genesis of Phase 5 has connected to the ten rings he inherited from his father.
Fans pointed out how Phastos’ weapon in 2021’s The Eternals resembled the ten rings, which begged the question: did he make them?
Meanwhile, the Quantum Realm in the latest Ant-Man film revealed how the multiversal power core resembled Shang-Chi’s ten rings, leading fans to believe that Kang may have played a role in its creation.
One scene in Ant-Man aligned with the ten rings’ acting as a beacon in the Shang-Chi mid-credits scene.
Whatever the connections, one thing is certain: Shang-Chi will return with a significant role in the MCU.