This story gets into spoilers for the new Marvel Studios movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Don’t read forward if you haven’t yet seen the film, or are concerned about finding out stuff about the ending.
Destin Daniel Cretton’s origin story Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings introduces a fascinating new character to the MCU, who brings with him unexpected new powers and a fantasy-driven corner of the comics worlds. As we learn in the film’s opening, the Rings of the title have been around for thousands of years, and have been possessed by Wenwu (Tony Leung) as he used them to acquire as much power as possible. His desire to conquer Ta Lo chipped away at his morality, and the promise of possibly reuniting with his true love finally pushed him over the edge. But at the end of the movie, the Rings now belong to Shang-Chi (Simu Liu), and that changes everything.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige sat down with CinemaBlend leading up to the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and opened up about how the ending of the film could change the trajectory for our hero. His answer to our question is in the video above.
Having been lucky enough to have seen Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings twice, I’m fairly confident that Shang-Chi’s eventual mother, Ying Li (Fala Chen), did something to affect the rings during her first battle with Wenwu outside of the gates of Ta Lo. I didn’t pick up on it during the initial watch, but did realize on second viewing that she collects the blue Rings from Wenwu and turns them gold, then spins them in that circular pattern that Shang-Chi does as he faces off against his dad. I’m thinking that Ying Li injected some of the magic from the Great Protector into the Rings, allowing Shang-Chi to tap into it.
That’s part of the reason why Kevin Feige, when thinking ahead for Shang-Chi (Simu Liu), told CinemaBlend:
We even see, in the end-credits scene for Shang-Chi, that our hero and his companion Katy (Awkwafina) travel through a portal created by Wong (Benedict Wong) and end up in conference with several Avengers, including Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). Does this make him a reserve for the team? They seemed very curious about the Rings, especially the Beacon they are sending to… whomever. This can get explored moving in future films, or maybe even in a Disney+ show, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is in theaters now. Be sure to check it out.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.