Avengers: The Kang Dynasty Lands Shang-Chi Director Destin Daniel Cretton

The fifth Avengers film, and one of the last chapters of Phase 6 of the MCU, has found its director. The Hollywood Reporter is revealing Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton will be helming Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, set to be released May 2, 2025. The Kang Dynasty will be one of two Avengers films released in 2025, as Kevin Feige revealed at San Diego Comic-Con that Avengers: Secret Wars will be arriving just six months after its predecessor on Nov. 7. Plot and casting details are being kept close to the vest by Feige and Marvel Studios, with Cretton’s hiring being the biggest update either film has received since officially being announced on Saturday.

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Shang-Chi was both a critical and financial success upon its release last September, grossing $432 million worldwide. The film came out at a time when many movie theaters were still closed due to the pandemic, which makes it even more impressive what Cretton and company were able to accomplish. Continuing off of the momentum of Shang-Chi, Cretton signed an overall deal with Marvel, which includes a few different projects in addition to The Kang Dynasty. A Disney+ series featuring Wonder Man is reportedly in the works from Cretton, along with a sequel to Shang-Chi somewhere down the road. Marvel was clearly impressed with what Cretton accomplished in Shang-Chi, leading Feige to hand the director the biggest film of his career thus far.

Who Will Direct Avengers: Secret Wars?

With the director for The Kang Dynasty being revealed, speculation about who will direct Secret Wars will be at a fever pitch. After pulling off the seemingly impossible by landing both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Joe and Anthony Russo have long been the choice of fans to tackle Secret Wars. The brothers themselves have stated on multiple occasions they would be interested in telling that story, but those hopes have seemingly been shot down by Feige. At San Diego Comic-Con, Feige said the Russos would not be directing either of the upcoming Avengers films, although Marvel was hoping to work with them in the future. While the Marvel figurehead could have been playing coy, as of it now it seems like Secret Wars will have a fresh face in the director’s chair.

That is, unless Cretton is also tapped to direct the follow-up to The Kang Dynasty. Looking at the previous four Avengers films, the first two were directed by Joss Whedon, while the Russos took on the third and fourth installments of the franchise. Marvel has yet to have back-to-back Avengers films be directed by different filmmakers, which could mean Cretton will have even more on his plate with Secret Wars. However, given the fact that Avengers four and five will be coming out within six months of each other, as opposed to the year that separated Infinity War and Endgame, Marvel may name a separate director for Secret Wars so Cretton’s sole focus can be on The Kang Dynasty. Even if Secret Wars is lead by a different director, Cretton will surely be a key part of the creative process due to helming the film coming out directly before it.

The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars will be the culmination of Phase 6, which is set to begin in November 2024 with Fantastic Four. The six-year gap between Endgame and The Kang Dynasty will be the longest of the Avengers franchise, meaning there’s plenty more time to set up the ultimate conflict between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Kang the Conqueror.