- Recent updates seem to confirm the Marvel Netflix shows as part of MCU canon, making a theory about Shang-Chi and Iron Fist teaming up more likely.
- Iron Fist’s similarities to Shang-Chi, such as their connection to magical realms and Asian-inspired mythologies, make them a perfect fit for a sequel together.
- Introducing Iron Fist in Shang-Chi 2 would be a smart move for Marvel Studios, allowing them to improve the character’s reception and potentially lead to spin-offs.
Recent canon updates surrounding the Netflix MCU shows mean a three-year-old theory concerning Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is more likely to come to fruition. The first Shang-Chi movie was released in 2021 to critical acclaim, with many deeming it one of the best projects in the entirety of the Multiverse Saga thus far. Naturally, this reception led many to wish for the story of Shang-Chi 2 which is supposedly moving ahead with Destin Daniel Cretton, the director of the first film.
With Shang-Chi‘s cast of characters set for an MCU return soon, theories surrounding the story of the sequel have also been raised. As of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Ring‘s ending, however, one theory has been more prevalent than others. Coinciding with the theories about Shang-Chi 2 were updates on Netflix’s Daredevil being made MCU canon thanks to Echo, alongside the other Defenders shows. In light of these updates, the aforementioned prevalent theory from after the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has been made more likely than before.
Recent Updates Seemingly Confirm The Netflix Shows As MCU Canon
Firstly, it is worth exploring the updates in question regarding the Netflix shows and their MCU canon status. For years, it has been unclear whether the Netflix shows were considered canon to the projects made by Marvel Studios. However, the release of Echo‘s marketing showed footage from Netflix’s Daredevil concerning the character of Wilson Fisk/Kingpin meaning the latter show edged ever closer to being considered MCU canon. Shortly after the release of Echo, the Netflix Defenders shows – Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, The Punisher, and Defenders – were added to Disney+’s MCU timeline section.
Not long after this update which led many to believe the Netflix shows are now MCU canon, Vincent D’Onofrio spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his role as Kingpin in Echo and the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again. D’Onofrio told THR that the recent MCU TV overhaul announced in October 2023 led to a different outlook concerning Daredevil: Born Again. According to the Kingpin star, Born Again is now being viewed as a continuation of Netflix’s Daredevil, seemingly moving the events of the latter even closer to being considered true MCU canon alongside the other Defenders shows.
The Defenders Saga’s Iron Fist Is Now Closer To Appearing In Shang-Chi 2
With the Defenders characters now all but confirmed as MCU canon, the largest theory surrounding Shang-Chi 2 could finally come to fruition. The theory in question was the team-up many wished to see between Shang-Chi and Iron Fist. Iron Fist was an integral character in the Netflix Defenders franchise who also happens to share several similarities to Shang-Chi. For instance, Iron Fist is known as the protector of K’un-Lun, a magically hidden city that is heavily inspired by Asian architecture and mythology.
This is very similar to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Ta Lo. Also, Ta Lo houses the Great Protector, a dragon who serves as a guardian of the realm alongside Shang-Chi. In Iron Fist, Danny Rand got his titular powers by defeating a dragon named Shao-Lao which revives after passing on its power to a new Iron Fist. From the magical realms, creatures, weapons, and Asian-inspired mythologies, the characters of Shang-Chi and Iron Fist have a lot of similarities that could see the latter work perfectly in a sequel centering on the former.
There’s A Great Story For Shang-Chi 2 That Could Also Introduce Iron Fist
The Immortal Weapons and the Heavenly Cities would allow Shang-Chi 2 to expand the mystical side of Marvel and introduce Iron Fist in the MCU.
Why Shang-Chi 2 Is The Perfect Place To Use Iron Fist
While the consistencies between the two characters alone are perfect reasons for them to share the screen together, there is another reason why Shang-Chi 2 would be the ideal project for Iron Fist to appear in. When Iron Fist was released on Netflix, the series was panned by audiences and critics alike. The second season was considered a slight improvement over its predecessor, though overall Iron Fist is still counted as the weakest of Netflix’s Defenders shows. As such, utilizing Danny Rand in a franchise as beloved as Shang-Chi would be a perfect move for Marvel Studios.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is often regarded as one of the MCU’s best origin stories and one of the best movies in the entire Multiverse Saga. Therefore, including a formerly maligned character like Iron Fist in Shang-Chi 2 would do wonders for the former’s reception. This would then reintroduce Iron Fist to the world of the MCU in a story that would benefit his characterization, potentially leading to spin-offs should Marvel Studios choose to further utilize the character after the theorized Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings sequel.