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Shang-Chi 2 For Destin Daniel Cretton? Here’s What The Marvel Director Says

Simu Liu as MCU's Shang-Chi

After reuniting one last time with Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow earlier this summer, as well as keeping occupied with Disney+ shows WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki over the course of 2021, we’re now meeting the first new starring hero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 4. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now playing in theaters, with Simu Liu’s Marvel debut being met with a lot of positive critical reception. Since this is an MCU movie that’s not about The Hulk (sorry, big guy), it stands to reason that Shang-Chi will spawn Shang-Chi 2, but would director Destin Daniel Cretton return to helm the sequel? Certainly.

The Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director recently stopped by ReelBlend to talk about his time on the movie, and co-host and CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell mentioned how in a recent press conference, the filmmaker recalled how he’d told his agent that he never wanted to make a Marvel movie. Then when he heard Marvel was making a movie about an Asian superhero, he changed his mind and soon met with the studio about tackling Shang-Chi. As such, O’Connell asked if Cretton would be willing to direct Shang-Chi 2 now that he’s been through the Marvel process, and the director responded thusly:

Yeah, yeah, I would. When I said that to my agent, it was real. I was basically just telling my agent, ‘I don’t want to do those types of movies.’ I know I was getting to the place in my career where it’s easy for agents to try just and push me into that direction, but I was not feeling like I wanted to. A part of it was definitely fear. Fear of losing creative control. Fear of just losing my mind, being on a movie project that big. (laughs) But I found the experience to be much more exciting, much more fun than I expected. And I also found that the process of working on a big movie was more conducive to who I am than I expected. You know, I grew up on an island, so I move at kind of a slower pace than most people. But I also love collaboration. I love collaborating with people who are really good at their jobs. And this movie was extremely collaborative, and I had a blast. So I’d definitely do it again.

It’s good to hear that Destin Daniel Cretton down to direct Shang-Chi 2, and considering how well its predecessor is performing so far, surely Marvel Studios is at least setting up a meeting with him to talk about the sequel, if not already decided he should come back. There’s a scenario where just directing the first Shang-Chi movie would have been enough to scratch Cretton’s superhero itch and he’d have moved on, but he’s game for another round in this corner of the MCU. If Cretton is confirmed to direct Shang-Chi 2, he would be the seventh Marvel director to stay on for the first two installments of an MCU film series, following Iron Man’s Jon Favreau, Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn, Avengers’ Joss Whedon, Ant-Man’s Peyton Reed, Spider-Man’s Jon Watts and Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler.

I won’t share any spoilers for people who haven’t seen Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings yet, but suffice it to say that groundwork is laid not just for a sequel, but for other areas of the MCU. Commercially speaking, Shang-Chi is off to a solid start, having made $8.8 million domestically on Thursday night. Unlike Black Widow, which is also available to watch on Disney+ Premier Access for $29.99, Shang-Chi is playing exclusively in theaters for 45 days. Simu Liu’s costars in the movie include Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Michelle Yeoh, Meng'er Zhang, Fala Chen and Florian Munteanu. Along with his directorial duties, Destin Daniel Cretton co-wrote the script with David Callaham and Andrew Lanham.

Be sure to read CinemaBlend’s review of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and keep checking back with us for any updates about Shang-Chi 2 (which, just to make clear again, hasn’t been officially greenlit). You can also browse through our upcoming Marvel movies guide to catch up to speed on what else the MCU has planned for theatrical release.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.