A film based on Shang-Chi entered development in 2001, but work did not begin in earnest until December 2018 when Callaham was hired. Cretton joined in March 2019, with the project fast-tracked as Marvel’s first film with an Asian lead. The film’s title and primary cast were announced that July, revealing the film’s connection to the Ten Rings organization, which previously appeared throughout the MCU, and its leader Wenwu. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the first Marvel Studios film with an Asian director and a predominantly Asian cast. Filming began in Sydney in February 2020 but was put on hold in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Production resumed in August before completing in October, with additional shooting occurring in San Francisco.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings premiered in Los Angeles on August 16, 2021, and was released in the United States on September 3, as part of Phase Four of the MCU. The film broke several box office records upon release, including records for a film released during the pandemic, and has grossed over $431 million worldwide, making it the eighth-highest-grossing film of 2021. It garnered positive reviews from critics, many of whom praised the choreography of the action sequences, exploration and representation of Asian culture, and the performances from the cast, particularly those of Liu and Leung.