Here's what the full title for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings reveals about the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4. After what seems like forever, Marvel Studios has finally laid out what their plans are for the next "Phase" of the MCU. They confirmed movies and release dates for five upcoming movies and five original series' that will be exclusive to Disney+. One of the films now officially moving forward is Marvel's first superhero movie with a Chinese lead, as Simu Liu will play Shang-Chi in the solo film.
The confirmation of the movie and reveal of Liu's casting was just a portion of what Marvel Studios revealed about Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings though. Destin Daniel Cretton is confirmed to be the director of the planned 2021 release and Liu's co-stars so far include Awkwafina in an unknown role and Tony Leung as the MCU's real version of the Mandarin. The latter is a character teased in Iron Man 3 and Marvel's All Hail the King One-Shot, and the title for his actual MCU debut indicates he will be an essential piece of the movie and Shang-Chi's origin.
While many thought that the Shang-Chi solo movie could simply be titled Shang-Chi, Marvel adding the Legend of the Ten Rings subtitle offers a possible glimpse into the story. The Ten Rings are an evil organization that has been a recurring threat in the MCU already. They were the ones who attacked and kidnapped Tony Stark in Iron Man and attempted to buy the Yellowjacket serum from Darren Cross in Ant-Man. Those were both smaller roles though and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings could be their chance to have a more significant role that properly explores the group.
In doing so, the Ten Rings having a larger presence in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings also further highlights the role that Mandarin, the leader of the organization in the comics, will play. If the Ten Rings receive a mention in the title to show how large of a role they will have, then Mandarin's presence will be significant. This will further be the case if the theories that Mandarin will also be Shang-Chi's father pan out. Regardless of that speculation, though, it is clear that the Mandarin and the Ten Rings will be key to Shang-Chi's origin as a hero.
His origin may not be the only one that Shang-Ch and the Legend of the Ten Rings explores though. The word choice in the title to use "legend of the Ren Rings" may indicate that the movie will also explore the past of the organization. The group should not be unknown in the MCU, but the film has the opportunity to dive deeper into how they came to be and what drove Mandarin to control the Ten Rings in the first place. That said, if there is a legend that the story revolves around, it is possible that the subtitle is not referring to the Ten Rings organization at all.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings could revolve around the search for the powerful rings that Mandarin has worn throughout the comics. Each ring contains a different ability and allows the user - typically Mandarin - to manipulate matter on a molecular level, shoot beams of force, create high-speed vortexes, destroy molecular bonds, create an area of darkness, create electromagnetic energy, shoot fire, mentally manipulate individuals, shoot blasts of electric energy, and shoot intense cold. These rings may wind up being the MacGuffins of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, while the movie also explores all of the areas mentioned before. If that's the case, then this title really does reveal more details than initially believed.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021