Simu Liu in 'Shang-Chi'

So When Does Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Take Place in the Marvel Timeline?

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a beautiful look into Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi and is truly one of the best origin stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. But it comes with a question over how exactly the movie and its own history fits into the MCU’s timeline as a whole.

Talking with ComicBook.com, producer Jonathan Schwartz commented on when exactly the movie is and why they made the decision to put Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings when they did.

“We did talk about it,” Schwartz said. “There actually is footage from other MCU movies in Shang-Chi — Easter eggs, if you look very, very closely. But it came down to what was best for the story, what we need to know about the Ten Rings to enjoy this story, and making sure that that was presented in the right way to the audience.”

So, let’s talk a bit about the timeline in Shang-Chi and how it plays into the MCU.

**Slight spoilers for the timeline of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings lie within.**

What we know about Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is that it, at least, comes after Iron Man 3. And, in the movie itself, there are references to the Blip, so with the fact that they reference that tied with some of the cameos throughout the movie, it’s safe to say that this is after Tony Stark’s death. The problem though is when.

With WandaVision being a few days after the battle with Thanos and Falcon and the Winter Soldier happening around the same time as Spider-Man: Far From Home, it’s a matter of where the movie hits in that timeline. I have a theory, though. We see Wong leaving in the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer and warning Strange not to do a spell for Peter. He has a suitcase and is leaving, so could he be going to China to fight in Xialing’s matches, where we see him in Shang-Chi? Meaning that Shang-Chi is happening around the same time as No Way Home?

Well, we won’t be getting an answer soon confirming or denying this.”I mean, I’m able to tell you, but I’m not able to tell you,” Schwartz joked. “I think we’ll make it official one of these days.”

Schwartz went on to talk about the fact that the movie is an origin story but that there are more layers to it than your typical “origin”:

Part of what excited us about the movie is, yes, it’s a new character. Yes, it’s an origin story. But there are many organic ways to make it feel like this movie’s always been in the fabric of the MCU, and sort of turning that timeline back and kind of understanding what was happening to [Shang-Chi’s father] Wenwu and the Ten Rings along the way was a really fun exercise we got to do.

What I loved about Shang-Chi is that it felt like we were thrown into this story with a character we know and love, and to a degree, that’s true. Many were waiting for a movie about Shang-Chi, and I truly do think this is the perfect introduction to him. Having him explore his history and his placement in the world of the Ten Rings in this way is fascinating, and now we just need to know when this movie is taking place.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.