MCU Sequel Gets Promising Update Amid Studio’s Ongoing Kang Problem

in Marvel, Movies & TV

Shang Chi Simu Liu wielding all Ten Rings in fight with Wenwu

Credit: Marvel Studios

Despite there being an unprecedented amount of uncertainty behind the scenes at Marvel Studios, it looks like it’s full-steam ahead for this eagerly-awaited superhero sequel—though you shouldn’t expect to see it in theaters anytime soon.

Shang-Chi holding the Ten Rings in air around him on Ta Lo
Credit: Marvel Studios

At last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel announced their slate of upcoming MCU Phase Five and Six releases, bringing what fans had hoped would mark the end of an otherwise lackluster Phase Four. While things got off to a shaky start with Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023), James Gunn’s final Marvel collaboration before transitioning to DC Studios, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023), saved the day, passing $838.3 million at the global box office over the weekend.

Looking ahead, plenty of exciting projects are in store for Marvel’s theatrical releases and its ever-expanding Disney+ catalog. Samuel L. Jackson’s espionage-thriller series, Secret Invasionis currently airing on Disney+, with the highly-anticipated sophomore season of Loki set to follow in October.

President Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Credit: Marvel Studios
Credit: Marvel Studios

There’s also November’s release of The Marvels (2023), which will see Brie Larson’s eponymous high-flying superhero teaming up with WandaVision‘s Teyonah Parris, who plays Monica Rambeau (AKA Photon), and Ms. Marvel breakout star Iman Vellani, who plays Captain Marvel superfan Kamala Khan (AKA Ms. Marvel).

Down the line, there’s a bevy of other big-budget movie events, including 2024’s Thunderbolts and 2026’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, but one smaller, perhaps forgotten-about project remains in the dark: the sequel to 2021’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

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

Starring franchise newcomer Simu Liu, the action flick detailed the origin story of Shang-Chi (AKA Shaun), a hotel valet by day, kung fu master by night whose dark past catches up with him when his crime boss father, Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung) draws him back into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.

The movie was an unquestionable highlight of an otherwise forgettable MCU Phase Four, but since its premiere in 2021, Marvel has been radio silent about its sequel, despite it being confirmed by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige shortly after it hit theaters.

simu liu as shang chi powers
Credit: Marvel Studios

Early whispers of a Shang-Chi 2 pointed to the movie being set for a February 2025 release date before a wave of delays pushed the new Fantastic Four (2025) into that date. Then, Mahershala Ali’s Blade (2025) eventually took over that release with the latest shift.

Either way, Shang-Chi 2 was reportedly added to Marvel Studios’ official production calendar earlier this year, indicating that work for the comic book sequel could begin soon. And now, the movie’s leading actor is offering one of the first official updates.

shang-chi simu liu
Credit: Marvel Studios

Interacting with a fan on Threads, Instagram’s newly-unveiled Twitter competitor, Simu Liu recently confirmed that he was told that the sequel will come after an Avengers movie, which will presumably be The Kang Dynasty. However, the actor noted that the studio “keeps pushing back” the film due to “circumstances that are beyond [his] control:”

Q: “What’s the status of Shang Chi 2”

Simu Liu: “was told it would follow Avengers but that keeps pushing back due to circumstances beyond my control 🙁 hope to have more concrete news to share soon”

Meng’er Zhang as Xialing in Marvels Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Underground Fight Scene
Credit: Marvel

With the fifth Avengers installment set to release on May 1, 2026, Liu’s remarks confirm that Marvel Studios is now eyeing for Shang-Chi 2 to premiere sometime after spring 2026. However, if Liu was referring to Avengers: Secret Wars (2027) in his Threads post, then Shang-Chi 2 wouldn’t release until after May 2027 based on Disney’s current schedule. 

There’s certainly potential for a Shang-Chi sequel to premiere in 2026, as Marvel currently has two unknown projects scheduled for July 24 and November 6. But with no end in sight for the ongoing WGA strike, it’s difficult to look too far into the future.

awkwafina as katy and simu liu as shang chi
Credit: Marvel Studios

For now, the question remains whether or not Marvel wants to bring Shang-Chi into the Multiverse, which will be the central conflict of Phases Five and Six. If so, we could see him pop up in an MCU flick as early as next year. But even the fate of the Multiverse remains a big question mark at Marvel Studios as the company continues to proceed with caution in response to its lingering Kang problem.

Kang the Conqueror, whose poised to become the Thanos-level threat of the MCU’s Multiverse Saga, was first introduced in 2021 as part of the Disney+ Loki series, where he was played by Jonathan Majors. Since then, the time-traveling supervillain has appeared in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and will also play a role in Season 2 of Loki. 

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Credit: Marvel Studios

However, Majors is currently facing assault charges in court after an alleged domestic dispute with his girlfriend took place in March, leading to his arrest. The disgraced Kang actor has since lost representation, movie deals, and maybe even his Marvel gig. He has yet to be proven guilty, but the outcome of his trial will undeniably shape the future of Phases Five and Six and, by association, Shang-Chi 2.

For now, it’s a waiting game for fans of the MCU, but at least we’ve received somewhat of a positive update on Shang-Chi 2 directly from its star. With Simu Liu’s character having so much potential, it seems bizarre that Marvel isn’t prioritizing his follow-up film, but the studio does have a lot on its plate. In any case, here’s hoping we see Shang-Chi back in action soon, even if it’s not his next solo movie.

Did you enjoy Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings? Are you excited for its sequel? Let us know in the comments below.

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