Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton has departed directing Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. He will still direct and executive produce the Marvel Cinematic Universe series Wonder Man as well as Shang-Chi 2.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, one factor affecting Cretton's decision to leave Avengers: The Kang Dynasty is a release-date change. Originally slated for May 2025, Marvel pushed the movie to May 2026.
The Jonathan Majors issue is another well-reported problem that surely gave Destin Daniel Cretton second thoughts. According to Variety, “The state of Kang Dynasty has been a subject of speculation. Jonathan Majors has already played multiple versions of the titular supervillain, Kang, on the Disney+ series Loki and this February’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. But the actor’s future with Marvel has been a question mark because he’s currently awaiting trial for domestic abuse charges.”
Instead of the sure-to-be-retitled Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, Destin Daniel Cretton will focus on the sequel to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Cretton also has the MCU series Wonder Man, which got shut down during the SAG-AFTRA strike but will resume production in the next few weeks.
Destin Daniel Cretton Was Reportedly Hesitant to Join the MCU Before Shang-Chi
According to the official production notes for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Destin Daniel Cretton hesitated to go “all in” with superheroes immediately. Producer Jonathan Schwartz said, “I think that Destin, in the past, had been wary of going down the superhero route, but when he heard that Marvel specifically wanted an Asian-American director to bring an Asian-American story to life, he became attracted to that idea, and he contacted us and said that he was interested.”
Destin Daniel Cretton said about Shang-Chi:
“I didn’t think I was ever going to get this job. I thought I would have a meeting to get in Marvel’s ear what I would hope that this first Asian superhero could be, and what it would mean to me, but I also wanted to have the ability to express some of the pitfalls that I thought they should avoid. They wanted to tell this story in the right way and look at every character as a multidimensional human being to try to avoid every stereotype that has been hovering around Asian and Asian-American characters for a long time. So, it was really inspiring to go in and talk to them at that first meeting.”
No word yet on official release dates for Shang-Chi 2 or Wonder Man.