Destin Daniel Cretton, the director of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, has stepped away from directing duties on Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. Deadline reported this news on Wednesday afternoon. The fifth Avengers film is still set to debut on May 1, 2026, but currently has no director attached. Cretton is not leaving the MCU, however—far from it. The original report suggests he is still continuing work on the Wonder Man series starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen, of which he directed the first two episodes. The show will resume production now that the WGA and SAG strikes have ended. Cretton’s also still returning for the sequel to Shang-Chi.
Cretton is both the showrunner and EP of Wonder Man, a series he co-created with Andrew Guest. It’s resuming production after Thanksgiving under the Marvel Spotlight banner introduced for Echo. This means it will be a standalone project, not connected to the overall Multiverse Saga. This also likely means that Simon Williams in this series won’t become one of the main Avengers (which is kind of a bummer). But who knows, things could change. Rumors ran rampant that Marvel Studios was going to cancel Wonder Man, but this seems to not be the case.
Hopefully, this means that a sequel to Shang-Chi is on the fast-track now for Marvel Studios. It’s been two years since the first film hit theaters, and not a word since. It would not surprise us at all if Shang-Chi’s continuing adventures take the place of Avengers: The Kang Dynasty on the MCU calendar, and debuts on May 1, 2026 instead. It seems the Marvel Studios is rethinking a lot of what the next Avengers are going to be—especially after the financial and critical disappointments of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and The Marvels. For all we know, The Kang Dynasty will transform into something else entirely.