Destin Daniel Cretton won’t direct “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty”

The "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" filmmaker will still helm future projects for Marvel Studios.

Marvel’s next big team-up movie just lost its director.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton was set to helm Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, but EW has learned that the filmmaker will no longer direct that project. However, he will continue working with Marvel Studios on the forthcoming Wonder Man Disney+ series and the untitled sequel to Shang-Chi. Deadline first reported the news.

Cretton’s departure from Kang Dynasty is the latest in a series of troubling developments for the project. Vanity Fair’s Joanna Robinson reported that the film’s screenwriter Jeff Loveness is no longer working on the film during an episode of the House of R podcast. And the only actor who was considered a firm lock for the film’s cast, Jonathan Majors (who played the titular villain Kang in Loki and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania), faces legal trouble after an alleged domestic dispute.

The Kang Dynasty was originally set to release in May 2025, intended as the first of an Avengers double header to wrap up the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 6, with Avengers: Secret Wars releasing in November of the same year. Since then, both films have been pushed back, and there will now be an Infinity War/Endgame–length gap between them, with Kang Dynasty releasing on May 1, 2026 and Secret Wars releasing a year later on May 7, 2027.

<p>Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images; Marvel Studios</p>

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images; Marvel Studios

Cretton first rose to fame with Short Term 12 in 2013, which starred Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., LaKeith Stanfield, Rami Malek, and Kaitlyn Dever. He reteamed with Larson for his 2017 adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle, as well as the 2019 Michael B. Jordan-starring legal drama Just Mercy.

Cretton made his blockbuster debut with 2021’s Shang-Chi, which starred Simu Liu, Tony Leung, Awkwafina, and Meng'er Zhang, and also featured a cameo from Larson. The film was Disney’s highest-grossing project at the worldwide box office in 2021.

Last summer, the filmmaker was announced as the director of the fifth Avengers film, The Kang Dynasty, shortly after his Wonder Man series was announced. Cretton is still expected to direct multiple episodes of the series, which stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Simon Williams and Ben Kingsley, who appeared in Shang-Chi and Iron Man 3 as Trevor Slattery.

Cretton also executive produced and directed two episodes of American Born Chinese on Disney+ this year.

Shang-Chi 2 was announced shortly after the first movie’s debut in 2021, though no release date has been established. Simu Liu stated that the sequel was originally intended to follow a future Avengers movie — and since Kang Dynasty is currently slated for release on May 1, 2026, Shang-Chi 2 is still a minimum of three years away.

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