Now that 2020 is finally over, we can get back or our regularly scheduled Marvel movie programming. Fortunately, Black Widow isn't the only film from the MCU that's set to come out this year. We've got the first one with an Asian lead, titled Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, to look forward to on Sept. 3, 2021.
So, when does 'Shang-Chi' take place?
In the MCU timeline, Shang-Chi probably takes place in 2023 or 2024. Because of the events of Endgame, many fans no longer assume that the movies automatically take place during the year they're released. Infinity War was released in 2018 and the movie is said to take place during that year, but then the five-year jump into the future in 2019's Endgame would mean that it ends in 2023. From there, we can make another assumption that Shang-Chi takes place soon after that.
Officially, Marvel hasn't said anything about when Shang-Chi takes place, so there's no way to confirm whether this is true or how soon it starts after Endgame. The first official trailer for the movie was released in June 2021, and even though a lot of it takes place in modern times, the history of how everything connects goes back into that of the titular character Shang-Chi and his family.
'Shang-Chi' actually begins far into the past.
In the trailer of Shang-Chi, we see the main character learning that he has to embrace who he is. He can run away from his past all he likes, but that doesn't change the fact that he is both his mother and his father's child. We know that Shang-Chi was trained by his father to become an assassin at a young age for the Ten Rings organization.
The Ten Rings is actually a terrorist organization. It wants to destroy world peace and will do whatever it can to see that through. Although the group is pretty mysterious, it's said to be led by a man who calls himself The Mandarin and has been around since the Middle Ages, according to the MCU Fandom. Now, the organization has spread all across the world, speaking different languages. At one point, it even kidnapped Tony Stark. This would lead him to create the first Iron Man suit.
Unfortunately for Shang-Chi, his father as well as his fathers before him were all part of the Ten Rings, so leaving it behind isn't going to be as easy as changing his name and moving. He's going to have to confront hundreds of years of history if he's going to stop his the organization from completing its ultimate goal and finally be able to live his life the way he wants to.