Director Destin Daniel Cretton teases the future impact Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings‘ post-credits scene will have on the MCU. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a new hero, and he’s finally made his triumphant debut. Simu Liu plays Shang-Chi, an apparent slacker who has been on the run from his criminal dad for years. The new movie tracks his return to the Ten Rings organization, which is headed by his villainous father Wenwu (Tony Leung). At the same time, Shang-Chi has already begun looking ahead to the future for the MCU newcomer.
As is customary for every MCU project, Shang-Chi contains some extra teases within its credits. The first post-credits scene specifically deals with Shang-Chi’s path forward, as he and his best friend Katy (Awkwafina) find themselves in an unexpected conference with Wong (Benedict Wong), Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). In addition to hinting at some additional mysteries with the Ten Rings Wenwu and Shang-Chi wield throughout the movie, the post-credits scene also acts as an introduction to the rest of the MCU for Shang-Chi.
Cretton recently sat down with Collider to break down the making of Shang-Chi. When asked if Cretton and Marvel created that post-credits scene already armed with the knowledge of what’s ahead, the director explained it’s a mixture of that and being open to various possibilities. Cretton said:
It’s a little of both. I mean, we definitely are posing a question that is pointed to a direction that makes sense to what’s happening in the MCU. But and also it’s a direction that’s very exciting for us to explore in the future. But the questions that are left unanswered are equally as exciting I think to the creatives making the movie as it is to the fans. I think exactly what fans are going through are what we’re going through, like all the potential what ifs of what it could be, and that’s part of the fun for working for a studio like Marvel.
When it comes to Shang-Chi’s MCU future, it’s very much a question of when and not if. Liu will certainly be back as Shang-Chi, though Marvel has yet to confirm when that could be. Based on the post-credits scene, some have theorized he could turn up in Doctor Strange 2, but Liu isn’t saying much on that point. Regardless of where it happens, the post-credits scene confirmed Shang-Chi will have a greater purpose in the MCU, and Cretton himself is quite excited about deciding what that will be.
Though Cretton and Marvel might not know exactly where the first Shang-Chi post-credits scene is leading, it sounds like they had at least some idea about which direction to steer it in when making the movie. Sometimes leaving a matter like this open-ended is a smarter way to go; now, Cretton has a lot of freedom when it comes to determining where Shang-Chi will go next. At the same time, it’s already positioned to fit within the broader MCU’s trajectory. The possibilities already feel endless, and as Cretton said, it can be exciting dive into something like that. The director isn’t confirmed to return for another Marvel movie just yet, though he’s said he would like to. Hopefully the Shang-Chi sequel will keep him on board so he can continue what he started for Marvel’s newest hero.