At this point, you need to be a diehard devotee to keep a handle on the complicated timeline of the MCU. Especially as it’s not uncommon for one of Marvel’s projects to be a prequel. Black Widow, for instance, was set in between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. The studio’s next movie is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and with much of its story still under wraps, fans had been wondering if it could be another prequel.
However, director Destin Daniel Cretton has now ruled out this possibility. While speaking with Fandango, Cretton made 100% clear that Shang-Chi takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, much like WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki before it, and will help move the saga of the cinematic universe forward.
“Shang-Chi is set in the present day in the MCU timeline,” the filmmaker outright stated. When asked for further confirmation that he meant it was set following the reversal of The Snap in the year 2023, as depicted in Endgame, Cretton agreed that was the case.
Well, that’s that mystery cleared up. Another big question fans have is whether Shang-Chi will continue the MCU’s current fascination with exploring the multiverse, as we’re seeing in What If…? and the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange 2. When asked by Fandango if there will be any multiversal elements to his movie, Cretton is said to have laughed and admitted that he “can’t really say.” We’ll leave it to you to interpret that how you want.
As for its place in the timeline, Shang-Chi being set after the Blip likely means that it’ll have to deal with how its characters were affected by Thanos’ actions. Did Simu Liu’s hero survive or was he dusted? How about his father Wenwu AKA The Mandarin (Tony Leung)? Is the fact that the martial arts master is being drawn back into his dad’s criminal world now to do with the reversal of the Snap in any way?
We’ll find out when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters on September 3rd.