‘Shang-Chi’ Director Destin Daniel Cretton Exits Marvel’s ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’

Director Destin Daniel Cretton has departed “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty,” an upcoming superhero adventure in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“Kang Dynasty,” which is positioned as an “Avengers: Infinity War”-style, penultimate team-up of this current Marvel era, was recently delayed and now isn’t scheduled to open until May 1, 2026. It will be succeeded by “Avengers: Secret Wars” on May 7, 2027, which will conclude this stretch — known as the Multiverse Saga — of the long-running, interconnected franchise.

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Beyond its director, the state of “Kang Dynasty” has been a subject of speculation. Jonathan Majors has already played multiple versions of the titular supervillain, Kang, on the Disney+ series “Loki” and this February’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” But the actor’s future with Marvel has been a question mark because he’s currently awaiting trial for domestic abuse charges.

Unlike the two-part saga of 2018’s “Infinity War” and 2019’s “Endgame,” which were filmed and directed back-to-back by Anthony and Joe Russo, Cretton was only hired to direct “The Kang Dynasty.” There’s no director on board yet for “Secret Wars,” either.

Cretton isn’t permanently parting ways with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He remains on board to direct the sequel to his 2021 blockbuster “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and he’s currently working on the Disney+ series “Wonder Man” for Marvel Studios. The TV series, for which Cretton serves as director and executive producer, was shut down by the strikes but will soon resume its filming.

Though unrelated, Cretton’s departure comes as Marvel — a once-untouchable film franchise, with a combined $30 billion across 32 films — has been showing signs of mortality. Over the weekend, “The Marvel” landed the ignominious distinction as the worst debut in MCU history. Earlier this year, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” was a smash with $845 million globally, but “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” became one of the rare Marvel movies to lose a lot of money in its theatrical run. These uneven performances point to a future where Marvel can no longer throw just any superhero adventure on the big screen and expect a blockbuster smash in return.

Deadline first reported the news of Cretton’s exit.

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