In terms of parachuting a brand new character into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings looks to have ticked all of the boxes that turned Kevin Feige’s franchise into the biggest game in town.
Relatively unknown actor drawing rave reviews for a star-making performance? Check. Esteemed veteran character actor delivering a strong turn as the villain? Check. A director making an accomplished jump from independent film to blockbuster cinema? Check. A plot hinged on destiny and daddy issues? Check. Cameos and references to both recent and deep cuts from MCU lore? Check. A record-breaking opening weekend at the box office? Check, sort of.
In short, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings delivers everything fans have come to expect from Kevin Feige’s outfit, and it’s even being called one of the MCU’s best-ever origin stories. With that in mind, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we’ve heard from our sources – the same ones who told us Ben Kingsley was returning as Trevor Slattery long before it was confirmed – that early discussions over a sequel have already taken place behind closed doors.
Simu Liu wants in on the next Avengers epic, and looking at the enthusiasm with which Kevin Feige has been talking up his debut, it’s virtually guaranteed at this stage. Phase Four is all about a combination of legacy and introducing new faces to carry the MCU into the future; a Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings follow up would only hammer the notion home even further.