When Does Shang-Chi Take Place On The MCU Timeline? Let's Break It Down

It's no secret that "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" takes place in the aftermath of "Avengers: Endgame," when half of the universe has been brought back five years after being snapped out of existence by Thanos. Thankfully, Professor Hulk was able to snap everybody back, and the five-year gap in which the world was in complete disarray is now referred to as The Blip. But this has made the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline rather complicated, and we're wondering exactly when "Shang-Chi" takes place. 

Let's try to figure this out.

The Blip Isn't Fresh

We're betting "Shang-Chi" takes place a decent amount of time after the events of "Spider-Man: Far From Home," a fairly significant amount of time since the events of "Avengers: Endgame." Why? Let's break it down.

First of all, in the opening of "Shang-Chi," it seems like the world is even more settled after half the universe was brought back from the dead in "Avengers: Endgame." Outside of Shang-Chi's apartment, you can see posters for some kind of service called Blipsync, which looks like it could be a dating service catering to those who were gone for five years. It could also be some kind of app that catches you up on the events of the past five years, even though it seems like the world wasn't exactly functioning as it otherwise would have during that time. Next to those posters are also ads for assistance with post-blip anxiety. However, these posters look a little faded and worn, which makes us think they've already been there for awhile and people are used to life after The Blip.

On top of that, The Blip doesn't seem to be much of a concern for the family of Shang-Chi's friend Katy. They're on her case about doing something with her life instead of just working as a valet attendant. Clearly enough time has passed that parents are back to worrying about the usual familial issues rather than coping with The Blip and everything that comes with it.

As we saw in "Spider-Man: Far From Home," life was already getting back to normal. So seeing the world like this makes complete sense.

Shang-Chi's History

In the flashbacks sequences of the film, it's established that Shang-Chi's parents Wenwu and Ying Li met in 1996. We're also told that he ran away at 14, and Wenwu allowed his estranged son to live his life uninterrupted for 10 years. So that means Shang-Chi is supposed to be 24 years old. Depending on what year he was born, and based on what we know about the MCU timeline, that gives us a window between 2020 and 2025 for when "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" could take place.

Thankfully, the events of "Avengers: Endgame" and "Spider-Man: Far From Home" help us get a little more specific. "Avengers: Infinity War" firmly takes place in 2018. That means the five-year blip brings us to 2023 by the time "Avengers: Endgame" happens. Then "Spider-Man: Far From Home" unfolds eight months after the events of "Endgame," as confirmed by a news report from Peter Parker's school. Since we're at the end of the school year in that movie, that puts us sometime in May or June of 2024. So what does that mean for Shang-Chi?

This means we can probably pinpoint 2024 as the earliest time "Shang-Chi" is likely to have taken place. It's probably not going to fit in before that, especially since an appearance by Captain Marvel in the mid-credits sequence finds her hair being considerably longer than when we saw her at the end of "Avengers: Endgame."

So the question is, how long after "Spider-Man: Far From Home" does "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" take place? We suppose it could be happening alongside the events of the previous "Spider-Man" sequel. It might depend on how much time has passed when the upcoming "Spider-Man: No Way Home" unfolds. In the forthcoming sequel, it seems like it's taking place not very long after the "Far From Home" credits scene, where Mysterio revealed Spidey's secret identity as Peter Parker. So maybe there's a little gap in-between the "Spider-Man" movies where "Shang-Chi" could have happened. In fact, the final scene of "Shang-Chi" indicates that the movie fits within a two week window, based on the conversation Shang-Chi and Katy have with their friends at dinner. Then again, there's no real reason that "Shang-Chi" has to take place before the events of the next "Spider-Man" movie, but since the Marvel movies have mostly been chronological in how they've unfolded (with the exception of a few titles), you would think that "Shang-Chi" would fit neatly between them.

For some reason, Marvel is being a little secretive about the timeline with regards to "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings." Producer Jonathan Schwartz wasn't ready to give anything away while making the publicity rounds for the movie. In an interview with ComicBook.com, when he was asked when Shang-Chi takes place on the Marvel timeline, the producer said:

"I'm able to tell you, but I'm not able to tell you. I think we'll make it official one of these days."

That's interesting. We're not sure if this is because of a narrative device yet to be revealed or because they simply want to give themselves some wiggle room with regards to Marvel Cinematic Universe chronological canon. Maybe the events of upcoming movies like "Eternals" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home" will help put things in perspective, so we'll just have to patiently wait to see what happens.

"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" is in theaters now.