Don’t hold your breath for Shang-Chi 2 because director Destin Daniel Cretton is about to inherit even more heroes than that. He’s reportedly been hired by Marvel Studios to direct Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, the fifth Avengers film set to co-concluse Phase 6 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in May 2025.
Cretton is best known for helming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, last year’s hit that introduced a brand new side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since then he’s been tied to the film’s sequel but this news makes it seem like either he won’t be directing that film, or that film is now much further off than we expected. The Hollywood Reporter broke the story.
Avenger: The Kang Dynasty will certainly star Jonathan Majors as Kang, a multiverse ruling baddie audiences first got a glimpse of (in one form) in Loki who’ll play an even bigger role in 2023’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. That film is the kick-off of Phase 5 in the MCU, which will conclude in July 2024 with Thunderbolts. Phase 6 begins soon after (with Fantastic Four on November 8, 2024) and The Kang Dynasty is one of the final two films in that Phase. It’ll be followed by Avengers: Secret Wars. No director has been announced for that holiday 2025 release but the Russo Brothers, directors of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, are not likely to be involved.
With so many films happening between now and Kang Dynasty, it’s impossible to speculate on what characters might appear or what the story will be. Obviously, it’ll be Avengers fighting Kang in some capacity and Cretton’s involvement certainly suggests Shang-Chi will play a role, but that’s purely speculation. And yet, when last we saw Shang-Chi, there was some mystery about where his rings originated. Somewhere far, far away, and and long, long ago. Maybe Kang was somehow involved.
We’ll know at least a little more about this on February 17, 2023 when Kang makes his biggest MCU appearance yet.