Since Marvel unveiled the bulk of its MCU Phase 4 titles, we’ve been explaining that an Avengers 5 movie is inevitable. Kevin Feige & Co. have not yet confirmed a release date for the movie, and they didn’t even mention the project when listing MCU Phase 4 titles. But Avengers is the most lucrative franchise in the MCU. It’s the culmination of years of storytelling. Avengers is where the major superheroes meet to take on the most dangerous threats. It’s also where stories and characters arcs close.
After four Phase 4 TV shows and two movies, Feige finally confirmed that the Avengers 5 movie is in the works. He did not provide any specifics, cautioning fans a month ago that “you need time […] to build the saga before you start bringing everyone together.” But the best Avengers 5 confirmation comes from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and we nearly missed it. Mind you, some spoilers will follow below.
The crazy Shang-Chi post-credits scene
Shang-Chi is still going strong in theaters after three weekends, which is an excellent achievement during the pandemic. The movie surpassed $175 million at the box office, nearing Black Widow domestic box office sales — $183 million. The main difference between the two films is that the former got a theatrical-only release, while Black Widow hit Disney Plus on the same day it premiered in theaters.
That means many Marvel fans already know what happens in the movie and the crazy post-credits scenes. We talked about the crazy Shang-Chi credits back in mid-August when Disney hosted a surprise movie screening for fans. The Shang-Chi plot and credits made their way online even before the spoiler-free reviews were published.
One of the two scenes is relevant for the Avengers 5 plans, and it was starring us in the face all along.
It’s the scene where Wong (Benedict Wong) grabs Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina), taking them to the Sanctum for a chat. Appearing via video conference are Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson).
What stunned us from the moment the scene leaked was Bruce Banner. Rather than the smarter version of Hulk that we saw in Endgame, we got the old Banner back, complete with a sling holding his arm. Why was Bruce there? What happened to Professor Hulk? That’s what everybody wanted to know.
Also noteworthy was the detail that the Ten Rings sent out a beacon out in the universe, and the Avengers had no idea what had just happened. Neither Wong nor the others knew what the Ten Rings are made of.
The big clue for Marvel’s Avengers 5
That’s what a post-credits scene in a Marvel movie will do to fans. You’ll overthink everything, trying to analyze the little clues that Marvel offers. You’ll try to explain Banner’s appearance, the Ten Rings’ origin, and the potential multiversal threat. But you might ignore the most obvious clue in the post-credits scene. The clue that practically confirms the Avengers 5 movie is in the making.
We have three Avengers in the scene who are recruiting two others. We already talked about this. Simu Liu and Katy are welcomed to the team following the events in the film. But the gist of it all is that there’s still a team in there. The Avengers officially still exist. People know who Wong is after the events of Endgame, as we see in the post-credits scene. They recognize him immediately.
Also, Wong, Bruce, and Captain Marvel aren’t having a friendly chat about the universe. They’re working on protecting the planet in the aftermath of the battle against Thanos. That means the Avengers still exist in an official capacity. It’s unclear whether they’re a standalone organization or there’s oversight from the world’s governments. We also don’t know if new laws like the Sokovia Accords will govern these superheroes.
But the most important message sent by the Shang-Chi post-credits scene is that the Avengers team is still together. That makes it clear that an Avengers 5 movie is in the making. As Marvel continues building up the universe, a threat will emerge that will need everyone’s attention. And the credits scene shows that the Avengers are paying attention to everything out of the ordinary.
This wasn’t our first clue
Interestingly, Feige confirmed that Marvel is getting the team back together for an Avengers 5 right before the Shang-Chi fan screening. The fact that the most important exec at Marvel confirmed that the studio is already building out this new Avengers sequel shouldn’t be surprising, in retrospect. The post-credits scene tells us that the Avengers group exists, and it’s still watching over the world, especially when it comes to unexplained threats.
It’s not the first time that we’re told the world needs super defenses. Back in Far From Home, a post-credits scene revealed that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) was vacationing in space overseeing the development of what looked like a high-tech installation. WandaVision then showed SWORD in action, the secret organization that replaced SHIELD.
Finally, we see in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier that the planet’s superheroes are both respected and hated. The world needs the Captain America symbol to live on. That’s why the shield is passed on to John Walker (Wyatt Russell) and then Sam (Anthony Mackie). And we see people acknowledging Bucky (Sebastian Stan) as an Avenger for the first time.
Marvel has been telling us all along that the Avengers will continue to exist and operate. Maybe alongside other teams that are already forming. We have Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) recruiting in Falcon and Black Widow. Also, the Eternals are “assembling” to fight a significant threat. But it’s Shang-Chi that confirms Avengers 5 is inevitable.