Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is quietly bubbling with the potential to be a major game-changer for the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Phase 4. The origin story of Shang-Chi, Marvel's anointed "Master of Kung Fu," will finally peel back the curtain on the true face of the Ten Rings crime syndicate and its leader, The Mandarin. In doing so, many fans expect that Shang-Chi will reveal a whole new web of evil influence (both criminal and mystical) that's at work in the MCU - and based on some recent set photos, it looks like Shang-Chi could also open the door to an unexplored era of the MCU:
Same scene, but tried to get view of the monitor to see the shot! Looks pretty cool, as an establishing shot for this secret “building”. pic.twitter.com/fUFtn5ggRy— chuckbass (@charlesbassf) April 28, 2020
This scene from Shang-Chi shows Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Awkwafina's character arriving in a cab to some seedy location in an Asian city or city district. It's just a quick establishing shot to show the character arriving and exiting the cab, seemingly tracking down some kind of lead. As they walk, the characters pass a wall with the year 2020 printed in graffiti on it. The question now is: is that graffiti supposed to be part of the movie scene, or is it just a natural coincidence of the set location?
The reason that question needs to be answered is because of the massive time jump that occurred in Avengers: Endgame. After Thanos caused The Snap in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), there were five long years of a half-dead Earth before Scott Lang escaped the Quantum Realm in 2023, and kicked-off the series of events that brought back the dusted half of the MCU. At the moment, there are only comic /novel stories set between 2018 - 2023 of the MCU, but Shang-Chi could be the first to change that!
It would be interesting to see the main portion of Legend of the Ten Rings' story set between Infinity War and Endgame. The Snap greatly shifted the balance of power in the MCU underworld, and there would've been some big moves made by those who survived Thanos. If Shang Chi had been behind the scenes before, The Snap would've been the perfect excuse for him to step up to a greater destiny. Finally, it would be a massive potential end twist when The Snap is undone in 2023, and Shang-Chi suddenly finds the underworld is shaken up all over again by those who return from the dead (including, perhaps, his father, The Manadarin?).
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.