Shang-Chi Producer Shares Marvel’s Secret For Building A Cinematic Universe

Simu Liu in Shang-Chi's final battle

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The MCU has been at the height of pop culture for over a decade, with the studio showing no signs of slowing down. The latest release is Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which has been breaking records at the box office. And one producer recently shared Marvel’s secret for building a full cinematic universe.

When the Marvel Cinematic Universe was first conceived, the idea of serialized storytelling was a a major gamble. Obviously it’s one that paid off, with producer Jonathan Schwartz working on a number of beloved properties like Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, and Shang-Chi. He spoke to CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell the process of crafting a story in this world of crossovers, sharing:

It might seem deceptively simple, and also mind-bogglingly complicated, but I think the secret is making really good movies that people really like, and want to see. I mean, it all starts with leaving it all on the table for every movie, every time. No great ideas get left behind, and we don't save anything for the sequel.

There you have it. While the MCU is known for mid-credits scenes that set up future installments, it's also key not to assume a sequel is happening. This type of attitude seemingly helped to energize Shang-Chi, although the movie’s success seems to all but guarantee that another solo flick is coming.

Jonathan Schwartz’s comments come from an interview with Sean O’Connell about all things Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He was able to peel back the curtain on what it’s like working within the MCU, especially when introducing a slew of new characters to the massive franchise. Luckily those efforts really paid off with Simu Liu’s badass new hero.

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Obviously all filmmakers hope to create a good movie that people want to see. But considering how many superhero properties are out there, there is definitely a certain pressure associated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Luckily the studio seems to be a well-oiled machine at this point, with every single installment in Phase Three being a critical and box office success.

While Shang-Chi told a capsulated story, it certainly had ties to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition to featuring the real Mandarin and an appearance by Wong and The Abomination, the mid-credits scene featured some thrilling crossover moments. And as such, Simu Liu’s new hero will likely play a major role in the battles to come.

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
Movies Editor

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 CinemaBlend. 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 favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.