Doctor Strange will not appear in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, but director Destin Daniel Cretton says there is a good reason.
Doctor Strange won’t make an appearance in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, but there is a good reason for that, according to director Destin Daniel Cretton. Doctor Strange’s first solo film dropped in 2016 and while it has been a long wait for Doctor Strange 2, the character has popped up in supporting roles in Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the first solo origin story for an MCU character since Captain Marvel back in 2019, and while the film appears to carve out its own niche there are still connections to the larger MCU. The Ten Rings organization was first referenced back in Iron Man, connecting the film to the very first installment of the MCU while The Incredible Hulk villain Abomination appears to have a role in the film. Doctor Strange’s companion Wong also will appear in the film, and that led many to speculate that Doctor Strange could also appear in a cameo.
According to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton, Doctor Strange will not appear in the film. In an interview with BroBible, Cretton explained that there is a clear reason why Doctor Strange doesn’t appear in the film. Cretton says this was discussed with Kevin Feige and the various other Marvel producers and directors. Cretton said:
“All of those types of ‘Where people are in the universe at this particular moment’ — there are clear reasons why Doctor Strange is not there. I wish we could’ve put Doctor Strange in our movie. But there are very clear reasons why the characters who showed up could show up very briefly, there’s also a very clear reason why they’re not physically in the room. But, all of that is a big conversation with Kevin [Feige] and the producers and directors who are working on other things.”
There are a number of factors as to why Doctor Strange may not appear. Given Wong walking through a portal during the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, it could be he is going to the fighting ring seen in the Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings trailer, suggesting the two films’ storylines are happening around the same time. The MCU timeline has various stories that overlap with one another, most recently highlighted in the Fury’s Big Week storyline of the “What If… the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?” episode of Marvel’s What If…?.
The other big clue could be revealed this Wednesday during the newest episode of What If…? which seems to focus on Doctor Strange. The episode seems to tease an evil Doctor Strange, and previous trailers have suggested this Strange clashing with another, possibly the main MCU version of the character, and could replace him in the MCU for a time being. This could provide an in-universe explanation as to why Doctor Strange didn’t appear in WandaVision. Marvel Studios could have planned it out to have this episode of What If…? released the same week as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to tie the two projects together.
Next: No Way Home: Why Doctor Strange Seems Off In The Spider-Man Trailer
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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