Shang-Chi 2 Just Got a Promising — If Vague — Update

Simu Liu confirms a sequel to Shang-Chi is “happening”... but when?

Simu Liu in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Marvel Studios

2021 wasn’t exactly a banner year for Marvel’s cinematic universe, but Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was still something of a highlight. It was the best MCU film of the year, and while that’s not a huge feat when your competition is Eternals and the long-overdue Black Widow, it also felt like the 2021 Marvel film with the most potential.

Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi was a readymade Avenger. His origin story was classic Marvel in the best sense of the term, and aside from an overwrought, CGI-laden third act, it managed to keep its conflict personal and real. It didn’t hurt that international legends like Tony Leung and Michelle Yeoh helped ground the film, personifying Shang-Chi’s love for Hong Kong classics and wuxia epics. It also took a major cue from Black Panther in building out its world with a diverse cast of characters, leaving the door wide open for a sequel.

But it’s been three years, and there’s been no sign of Shang-Chi or a sequel. He’s just one example of Marvel’s terrible new habit of introducing an exciting new character and then wasting their potential, and his sidelining has left some fans to assume Marvel has forgotten about Shang-Chi altogether. He’s yet to appear in any MCU project since his introduction... but that may finally change.

It’s been years since we’ve seen Shang-Chi in the MCU, but the hero might return soon.

Marvel Studios

Liu recently rekindled hopes for Shang-Chi’s return on Threads, where the actor responded to a fan who suggested Marvel had abandoned the franchise. “There has been no effort by the studio to get the sequel filming or even include the character in other Marvel films,” the user wrote. “Frustrating as hell.”

“I promise it’s happening,” Liu replied, supplying fans with the first Shang-Chi 2 update in years. Both Marvel and Liu have been quiet about a potential sequel, which hasn’t even been officially announced. It didn’t help that, until recently, director Destin Daniel Cretton had his hands full helming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. But with Cretton departing that project in 2023, and Marvel retooling its upcoming slate, there’s a sense that Shang-Chi 2 could be a priority again.

Before The Kang Dynasty reverted back to Avengers 5, the upcoming Shang-Chi sequel was basically at the Avengers’ mercy. Liu revealed the project kept getting pushed back in a Reddit AMA, and was also “told it would follow Avengers.” That could still be the case, but Marvel is reportedly approaching its future lineup with a bit more consideration. Liu’s sudden mention of the film may have been offhand and out of the blue, but it’s still something. Don’t start planning to buy tickets, but there’s a chance the studio will find a way to bring Shang-Chi back soon, whether in Avengers 5 or another solo film.

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