Shang-Chi Director Explains the Evolution of the Film’s Mid-Credits Scene

Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings!

The mid-credits stinger from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings didn’t just hint at big things to come in Phase Four of the MCU. It also marked the return of two of the franchise’s most valuable players for the first time since Avengers: Endgame hit theaters two years ago. Both Mark Ruffalo and Brie Larson came back to reprise their roles as Bruce Banner and Captain Marvel, respectively. The two characters appeared via hologram to help Wong study Wenwu’s rings of power. But according to director Destin Daniel Cretton, their cameos weren’t always a sure thing.

Cretton and co-writer Dave Callaham discussed the scene’s evolution during a recent interview with Yahoo! Entertainment (via According to the director, a number of different character combinations were considered before the filmmakers settled on Ruffalo and Larson.

“You would think that more things came straight down from the top, but that never was [ordered down],” said Cretton. “We were begging sometimes to like, ‘Just tell us [who can be in the scene]. But it took a lot of us throwing out options, like, ‘How about this, how about this, how about this?’ And I think because the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] is such a living organism…you know, there’s writer’s rooms happening, developing things simultaneously all the time. Everything does need to fit.”

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In the end, it all boiled down to what else was happening in the MCU at that moment in time.

“[We] would throw ideas up the chain for that, and sometimes we’d get a maybe,” continued Cretton. “And that meant, ‘Okay, something else is developing somewhere else, but we’re not totally sure if that character will make sense.’ Sometimes that ‘maybe’ would hang for a bit, and then they’d [Marvel Studios] say, ‘Oh, no, we can’t do that person anymore.’ We did that, I don’t know [how many times].”

“We went through so many iterations of who could be in that room,” added Cretton. “We knew that we wanted characters to be helping us usher Shang-Chi into the bigger universe. But those characters that we landed on made sense to all of the other things that are happening in the MCU at the time that we actually shot it.”

Were you happy with the way Shang-Chi’s mid-credits scene turned out? Let us know in the comment section below!

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