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Shang-Chi: How Marvel Decided Which Characters To Add To That Mid-Credits Scene

Simu Liu in Shang-Chi's suit

Major spoilers ahead for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings!

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Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently in full swing, especially following the release of Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Simu Liu’s title character made a big splash in the box office, and the movie’s mid-credits scene offered a thrilling crossover moment. And producer Jonathan Schwartz has explained how Marvel decided which characters to add to that mid-credits sequence.

Shang-Chi told a mostly capsulated origin story for Simu Liu’s character, but the inclusion of Wong in the fighting pits set up a major crossover moment. Because during the mid-credits scene he’d arrive via portal and take Shang-Chi and Katy into a meeting about the rings. That conference also included Dr. Banner and Captain Marvel, to the joy of the fandom. CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell recently spoke with Shang-Chi producer Jonathan Schwartz, where he explained how Marvel decided which Avengers would make a cameo. In his words,

We always had the idea for the scene. It came together relatively early in the process. We ultimately weren't able to shoot it during principal photography for many reasons, but primarily because COVID shut us down, schedules changed, et cetera, So it got pushed to our additional photography period. And then at that point, it just became, ‘Alright, well, who were the characters that made sense?’ And that was a conversation with me and Destin and Kevin. And we sort of just had a call where we threw out our ideas and ended up where we ended up, which I couldn't be happier with.

Well, there you have it. While crossovers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are handled with care, it’s ultimately a process with regular people behind it. And factors like scheduling and COVID-19 resulted in Captain Marvel and Dr. Banner appearing in the sequence via hologram. Although that quick scene has no doubt started countless new fan theories about those Avengers.

Jonathan Schwartz’s comments to CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell help to peel back the curtain on Marvel Studio’s unique creative process. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings certainly didn’t disappoint when it came to the mid-credits scene, especially with the newcomer already interacting with beloved characters played by Brie Larson and Mark Ruffalo. Plus, who doesn’t want more of Wong?

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In his comments, Jonathan Schwartz specifically mentions collaborating with Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton as well as Marvel’s Kevin Feige. The trio ultimately worked together to craft that mid-credits scene, and decide which Avengers should make a surprise appearance. That hard work definitely paid off, as the internet blew up as a result of those hero’s inclusion.

As previously mentioned, there are some questions that come with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ mid-credits scene. Namely why Dr. Banner appeared as his regular self, rather than the Smart Hulk we were introduced to in Avengers: Endgame. Hopefully we’ll get some answers when Mark Ruffalo reprises his role in the She-Hulk series.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is in theaters now. Be sure to check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.