Kevin Feige explains why Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings said that Ten Rings will return, but not Simu Liu's Shang-Chi.
Marvel Studios' latest blockbuster is now showing in theaters, introducing the franchise's newest hero. Alongside him is a whole pocket in the MCU that hasn't been explored until now, although it features certain familiar elements for long-time fans of the universe.
That includes the titular Ten Rings organization which has been in the MCU since it was kicked off in 2008's Iron Man. In Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau's first film together, Tony Stark was abducted by a subgroup of the same criminal gang that Wenwu (Tony Leung) runs in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. With that, there's anticipation for learning more about them in the origin story. Unfortunately, due to the limited runtime and the many other plot lines that needed to be addressed, the Ten Rings wasn't given that much of a focus. However, there's the promise that they would be back in the franchise in future projects.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings final credits card reads "The Ten Things Will Return" which is a welcome confirmation. However, it poses the question of why the movie decided to tease the group's future, but not its titular hero. According to Feige in an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Shang-Chi's return was already given considering how the story ended. So, they decided to use the now-signature final tag for the Ten Rings.
Kevin Feige: To be honest with you, I think the intention of the first tag makes it very clear that Shang-Chi will return, so we didn’t have to say it again. The end of that second tag was more about the organization itself, the Ten Rings, which it seems, over the course of the movie, that it’s been dismantled and you learn otherwise in that spoiler-filled tag. But that was the idea; one, we just didn’t want to put a card… (Did we even talk about that, Jonathan? We didn’t even talk about putting in a card for both.) But we think that it’s very clear after that first tag that Shang-Chi is returning.
The ending of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which directly leads to its mid-credits scene set up the newest MCU hero's return in the franchise. After Wong (Benedict Wong) summoned him and Katy (Akwafina) to talk about his new weapons, he was also met with Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) — the latter officially welcoming him in the Avengers. Meanwhile, the after-credits scene revealed Xialing (Meng'er Zhang) taking over Wenwu's spot as the leader of the organization. The "Ten Rings" tag at the end was more to confirm that the group will continue to be a factor in MCU's future storytelling.
In hindsight, there are actually two ways to interpret that stinger text. Firstly, it could mean that the crime group will be back in the franchise, perhaps in the inevitable sequel for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Considering how much the MCU is thriving on Disney+, maybe a small screen show could go also more in-depth with them. Secondly, the tag could also refer to the actual Ten Rings that Shang-Chi inherited from Wenwu. Based on Wong, Captain Marvel, and Banner's findings, there's more to its origins than what's revealed in the film. In any case, both scenarios sound good considering the generally positive response to the movie.