Does Shang-Chi Happen in the MCU?

For want of a better word, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is becoming increasingly complex. Phase Four saw Disney+ become the home of a slew of new shows with major canonical effect. Deciphering the MCU timeline is becoming increasingly complex as a result of these changes. With the September release date of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings fast approaching, fans are wondering how the setting will affect the tale. And while there is a contemporary explanation, it is ambiguous in terms of specifics.

If you’re placed in an important position now, you’ve already established some ground rules for what’s to come. As a result, fans are able to catch up on important prequels and understand where and how the other elements of the MCU may effect the tale. Phase Four has thus far dealt with topics of cosmic consequence, and that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon. If Loki’s events occur before WandaVision’s even if WandaVision was released months earlier, it matters. Both Captain America: Civil War and Black Widow relied on a precise sequence of events in order for their drama to function.

According to director Destin Daniel Cretton’s words to Fandango, Shang-Chi is set in “the present” MCU. After five years and more or less immediately following the events of Avengers: Endgame, we’ll be in 2023. Most MCU fans probably assumed that, but the impact it will likely have isn’t as clear. The fact that audiences don’t know the order of the MCU’s events is also important, given that the events of the Disney+ series have thrown the MCU for a loop.

Black Widow, the first Phase Four film, did not progress the timeline because it was set in the past. Everything had to go backwards because Natasha Romanoff died in Endgame and any movie including her would have to be a flashback movie. Thus, Shang-Chi may have to cope with issues such as the world’s recovery from the Blip and following challenges, as seen in The Falcon & Winter Soldier.

Events like the Multiverse and Eternals are also producing seismic alterations in the MCU. Although Shang-Chi may be about something else, as early video suggests, its characters may be touched by them nonetheless. If that’s the case, whether it happens before or after WandaVision will certainly have a huge impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Because Shang-Chi is primarily concerned with introducing its characters, none of these larger problems should interfere with that task. Because of this, anything Marvel discloses now will likely throw a lot of light on impending events. Assuming Shang-Chi is capable, its basic placement in time sets the parameters of its actions.

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