And why that cameo-filled sequence is 'very telling of maybe what's to come.'
"I don't know anything about anything," claims Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu, "and whether or not there's a post-credit sequence, that's up to fans to discover for themselves when they watch the movie in theaters on September 3."
What with this being a Marvel movie -- and not just any MCU movie, but the first big indicator of Phase 4 on the big screen -- there is, of course, a post-credits scene. Two, in fact. And with Shang-Chi now in theaters, it's time to break down what happens in both, which means there will be major spoilers ahead.
The Ten Rings, as we learn, were discovered by Wenwu (Tony Leung) centuries ago, granting him the power to create the organization known as the Ten Rings. By the movie's end, Shang-Chi (Liu) has assumed control of the rings and seemingly brought about an end to the Ten Rings' reign. Now a superhero in his own right, the final scene sees Shang-Chi and his bestie Katy (Awkwafina) being summoned by Wong (Benedict Wong). "We have a lot to talk about," he says.
The Mid-Credits Scene:
Thankfully, you only have to wait till the first stringer to find out what Wong wanted to discuss, with the added reveal that he's called in a couple of heavy hitters for the conversation: Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), appearing via hologram. (Notably, Captain Marvel's hair has grown out since we last saw her in Endgame, and Bruce is no longer living as Smart Hulk.)
They're discussing the rings themselves. Wong says they don't match any artifacts on record at the Sanctum, while Bruce nixes the possibility of their being vibranium. "Not like any alien tech I've seen," Carol adds. The rings seem to be acting as a beacon, they say, and sending out a message. But to where?
In the comics, the rings were created by a dragon-like alien race called Axonn-Karr. Considering the first dragons introduced into the MCU were in this movie, that's probably not the case here. Eternals is one guess, however that film was originally slated to be released before Shang-Chi. So, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness then? Or might they be connected to Kang? It seems with this post-credits scene we will have to wait to see.
"Oh, you're really going there, girl," Awkwafina reacted. "It's so super locked down. Let's just say… I mean... Aw man, ET! I don't really know what's comfortable to say about that, but I will say that there are a lot of really cool kind of little things that happen in there that are very telling of maybe what's to come."
So, what does come next? The scene also serves to roll out of the welcome wagon for Shang-Chi. Though there may not be an official Avengers lineup at the moment, being brought into the superhero fold by Captain Marvel and the Hulk is about as official as it gets. "You have a long journey ahead of you," Wong tells Shang-Chi and Katy.
Liu isn't giving anything up, only saying, "Whether there's any future plans for Shang-Chi, if and when that happens, I would be extremely excited and will await that call with great enthusiasm!"
"I think there's a whole life of arts and crafts ahead for Katy and Shang-Chi," Awkwafina says for her part. "I think they could open their own pottery shop in the Berkshires."
The End-Credits Scene:
The second stinger is more straightforward: Xialing (Meng'er Zhang) is in her childhood bedroom when Razor Fist (Florian Munteanu) interrupts. "They're waiting," he tells her. Xialing walks into the next room and assumes her place on the Ten Rings throne.
"Let's get started," she says. "We have a lot of work to do."
The Ten Rings isn't defeated but simply under new management. (And we're happy to report Xialing kept her right-hand guy, Ronny Chieng's Jon Jon, on to help makeover the operation.) The final title card confirms: "The Ten Rings Will Return."
Check back next week to hear what director Destin Daniel Cretton has to say about both post-credits scenes, as well as more Shang-Chi spoilers.