Although this will be Shang-Chi’s (Simu Liu) MCU debut, the Ten Rings organization has been mentioned in Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe before — namely when back in the very first official MCU movie, Iron Man (2008).
The film, which featured Robert Downey, Jr.’s debut as Iron Man/Tony Stark, remains a fan-favorite and launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it today.
The elusive Ten Rings group actually made a second pseudo-appearance in the Iron Man trilogy, when the Mandarin is mentioned in Iron Man 3. Although the “Mandarin” character in the third Iron Man outing turns out to be a fraud, it seems that we will actually see the real deal in Shang-Chi — in the form of Shang-Chi’s father, Wenwu (Tony Leung).
Related: Did Doctor Strange MURDER Iron Man?
Now, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director, Destin Daniel Cretton, has confirmed that Iron Man will be connected to the storyline in the newest addition to the MCU film catalog:
“I mean, that’s going to be the fun of watching this movie — understanding who the Ten Rings are finally and seeing how they are. I don’t want to say too much before people watch it, but it was really fun to dig into the Ten Rings and answer a lot of questions that were posed early on [in the Iron Man trilogy], before we were ever even imagining we’d be a part of telling the MCU story. But it has been very satisfying to paint a full picture of who the Ten Rings are — and specifically who they are to the father of Shang-Chi, our Wenwu character. And I think you’ll find in this movie that the Ten Rings — there’s a lot of meaning behind the Ten Rings, both the physical Ten Rings and the organization of the Ten Rings and how they affect our two leads. That is a huge part of this movie.”
Although RDJ has made it abundantly clear that his time in the MCU is over — even infamously unfollowing all of his Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019) costars on social media — it’s good to know that Marvel Studios is still committed to connecting the dots from the original Iron Man movies in its upcoming Phase 4 movie.
More on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
The official description of Shang-Chi reads:
Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. The film also stars Tony Leung as Wenwu, Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan, as well as Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu and Ronny Chieng.
More on Iron Man
The official description of Jon Favreau’s Iron Man reads:
2008’s Iron Man tells the story of Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence and ingenuity, Tony builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armor and vows to protect the world as Iron Man.
Are you looking forward to seeing how the MCU continues to connect to Iron Man even after Tony Stark’s death?
You can stream Black Widow and the three series in Marvel’s Phase 4 so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki — on Disney+ anytime.