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Shang-Chi 2 is confirmed — everything we know so far

Simu Liu stars in Shang Chi
(Image credit: Marvel)

Shang-Chi 2 is happening, as you'd expect after a fiscally successful and well-reviewed film coming from a studio that loves sequels. The news broke from Deadline, which revealed that Disney and Marvel Studios are bringing back Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' director and screenplay writer Destin Daniel Cretton to helm the film.

Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige is quoted as saying "Destin is an amazing collaborator who brought a unique perspective and skill to Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings. We had a fantastic time working together on the film and he has so many intriguing ideas for stories to bring to life on Disney+, so we’re thrilled to expand our relationship with him and can’t wait to get started."

Cretton is also going to be working on an MCU series for Disney Plus, but there's no word on what show that will be or if it's one of the already announced or rumored upcoming Marvel shows

Shang-Chi 2 release date speculation

There's no signs so far as to when Shang-Chi 2 will be coming out, but we'd have to speculate it would be in either very-late 2023 or, more likely, mid-2024. Cretton joined Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in 2019, and the film was originally slated to arrive in February 2021.

But Shang-Chi wouldn't come out in theaters until September 2021, due to Covid-19-related delays. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings arrived on Disney Plus on Nov. 12 (Disney Plus Day).

Shang-Chi 2 cast speculation

We'd bet money that Simu Liu will return for Shang-Chi 2, as the film wouldn't really work without Xu Shang-Chi himself, or without "Shaun," as Katy's family knows him.

Speaking of which, Awkwafina is very likely to come back as Katy, Shang-Chi's best friend who fought alongside him in the movie. We expect the film will give her more time with a bow and arrow. It would be neat if we somehow got a Kate Bishop cameo, so Katy could shoot arrows side by side with the Hawkeye star, but there's no word of a Hailee Steinfeld cameo.

And per the end of Shang-Chi, expect Meng'er Zhang back as Xu Xialing, the new leader of the Ten Rings (who also just happens to be Shang-Chi's sister).

There's maybe some doubt about Florian Munteanu, whose character Razor Fist was originally supposed to not make it out of the film, per a deleted scene that saw him encourage Katy to fight before sacrificing himself so she could grab the bow she uses to attack the Dweller in Darkness.

Lastly, we also expect to see Michelle Yeoh, whose Ying Nan survived the attacks and led the tribute to those who passed away. 

Ben Kingsley's Trevor Slattery survived Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, so we bet he and his hundun Morris will likely be back for the sequel.

Of course Tony Leung (who played Shang-Chi's father Xu Wenwu) is only possible for flashback sequences, as he died in the first movie. Fala Chen, who played Shang-Chi's mother Ying Li, would also be only likely for flashbacks.

Shang-Chi 2 plot speculation and fan theories

As for what will happen in Shang-Chi 2? No leaks have spilled the story yet, but looking at Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings gives us ideas about where the sequel could go. First off, going by the Shang-Chi end credits scene, it seems possible that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will play a role, as Wong teleported into Shang-Chi and Katy's night out. This means our heroes may be exploring a much-different, and much-changed world. 

Xialing's rule of the Ten Rings gang will also be explored. Also, the hidden world of Ta Lo is barely explored, and we could see a lot more exploration of the mysterious realm.

One aspect of the first Shang-Chi movie left unexplored by the film is how Shang-Chi and Katy became friends. One redditor has depressing theory about how the two are linked. u/akavina writes "I believe Shang-Chi completed his assignment and assassinated him, only to realize he had a family, kids of his own, and grandkids. I believe Katy is the granddaughter of the Iron Gang leader and the guilt he felt from taking her grandfather, and the grief that caused the family (much like the grief his family felt at the loss of their mother, Li) caused him to commit to make amends the rest of his life. He inserted himself into the family he almost broke apart. That's why he seeks to have a good relationship with Katy's grandmother, and always supports Katy no matter what she wants to do (good and bad ideas). Initially out of guilt." That would be one way to test their friendship.

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past six-plus years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.