How Shang-Chi 2 Sets Up Iron Fist’s MCU Return (Theory)

When Marvel Studios first used the the universe expands tagline, it was associated with the franchise’s official in-universe streaming content announcement on Disney+. This mantra was first applicable to shows like Wanda Vision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldieralthough it has since morphed into many different meanings since then.

“The universe is expanding” with unique streaming promotions.


“The universe is expanding” to canonical animated content.

“The universe is expanding” in projects aimed at mature audiences.

The latter received a significant boost earlier this year, as Disney+ acquired the rights to stream Marvel Netflix programs like daredevil, Luke Cageand The Punisher. These TV-MA programs have not been officially confirmed as MCU canon, but the use of Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk in Spider-Man: No Coming Home and Hawk Eyerespectively, places their in-universe status prominently.


While Cox and D’Onofrio have made the leap from Netflix to Marvel Studios, their MCU debut is far from guaranteeing that their fellow the Defenders the actors will make the switch to streaming seamlessly.

Regardless of who Marvel Studios chooses to take over and who they recast, fans should expect to see these popular street-level heroes in the MCU soon enough. Some will have rebooted solo projects, while others will take into account existing franchises. Luckily for one of Netflix’s heroes lost in random characters, there’s a theatrical titan calling his name.

Could Iron Fist Join Shang-Chi 2?


Do you think you are the only martial artist in the world? Mr. Xu, you are now part of a larger universe, you don’t know it yet.


Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings introduced fans to the titular hero of Simu Liu, and it’s safe to say they embraced the Kung-Fu master. Shang Chi raked in an impressive $432 million in a wildly volatile box office season, while Liu himself beat out action icons like Daniel Craig and Vin Diesel for Action Movie Star of 2021 at the People’s Choice Awards .

A sequel to Legend of the Ten Rings remains unconfirmed, but based on its accolades, Shang Chi 2 feels like it’s only a matter of time. Plot details will remain a mystery for some time, but MCU sequel templates indicate Shang Chi 2 will be looking to expand the franchise’s roster. If Liu gets his wishes, Shang Chi 2 will spare no expense with its universe building.

“How does Shaun fit in with the rest of the MCU? Who are you going to see? What kind of crazy teams? world else, so I don’t know anything, but I’m excited to dive into this process.”

Just like Captain America got Falcon and Iron Man got War Machine in their single player sequels, Shang-Chi might get Iron Fist for it. “a crazy team” in its second episode.


Marvel’s Martial Artists

Powers of the Shang-Chi Iron Fist

Not only are these two skilled in hand-to-hand combat, but they both follow a similar trajectory on the page.

In the comics, Danny Rand becomes Iron Fist upon discovering K’un-Lun, a mystical city that only appears on Earth once every ten years. From there, Rand masters martial arts, defeats a dragon, and imbues himself with ancient energy which completes his transformation into his green and yellow alter ego.

Their similarities would bring them closer, as Shang-Chi and Iron Fist are regularly featured in the anthology series. The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. When the two eventually meet in Annual Kung Fu Master #1, they established an immediate mutual respect for each other.


Shang-Chi Luke Cage Marvel
Marvel Comics

This admiration is far from artificial too, as Iron Fist often praises Shang-Chi as “the best” behind his back.

Worlds collide

MCU Iron Fist

The template for how to integrate Iron Fist into the Shang Chi the franchise already exists. Or it will be soon.

Similar to how Black Panther: Wakanda Forever welcomes Namor and the Atlanteans as a whole, Shang Chi 2 may adopt a similar expansion of slots with Danny Rand and K’un-Lun. While much of Shang-Chi’s Ta Lo is inspired by K’un-Lun, the mystical city is unique enough that it could still make its way into a sequel and stand on its own.


In the comics, K’un-Lun is one of the Seven Capitals of Heaven, a collection of magical realms that look alike. The MCU could establish Ta Lo as one of those cities in the sequel, while also introducing K’un-Lun and his champion, Iron Fist. Not only would this broaden the Shang Chi Tenfold lore, but it would allow Danny Rand to jump straight into the MCU without needing to tell his origin story.

Considering black panther 2 will likely explore the tension between Wakanda and Atlantis, Shang Chi 2 could stand on its own by immediately establishing Ta Lo and K’un-Lun as allies. Much like the comics, Shang-Chi and Iron Fist would strike up a friendship without needing a “Shakespeare in the Park” fight first, then fight those who threaten their sacred realms.

Retaliation or overhaul?

MCU iron fist

Given Netflix’s poor critical reception iron fist and the rejection of the series by Disney+, Danny Rand fans are unlikely to see the MCU as the same iteration that Finn Jones portrayed.


That said, Jones could always return to the role, but in a new version, just like JK Simmons did with J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man: No Coming Home. While hope exists for fans of Jones’ portrayal, there’s far less buzz about the former games of thrones star wearing the dragon tattoo again compared to his Defenders co-stars.

With that in mind, a complete clean slate for the MCU’s Iron Fist seems like the most likely option. This would give Marvel Studios the ability to design not just Iron Fist but the entirety of K’un-Lun exactly how they want, which isn’t an option if they continue with it. iron fist traditions. More importantly, starting over gives Iron Fist the chance to rock his pinpoint green and yellow, which were only briefly hinted at in the Netflix show.

For now, Finn Jones’ take on Danny Rand in iron fist is streaming its full series on Disney+.