Wondering where you can watch Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings right now? That’s understandable! Movie release strategies have become increasingly complicated in recent years, and never more so than in the pandemic era. Is it on Netflix? Is it streaming anywhere? Is it streaming and in theaters? None of the above? I never thought I’d spend so much of my time wondering how the heck I can watch new movies, but not to worry, we’ve put together a handy guide to how you can watch Shang-Chi right now, so you can skip the wondering and get right to watching the latest chapter in the MCU.
WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki caught us up with some of the most beloved heroes and villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after the universe-altering events of Avengers: Endgame. Black Widow scaled back on scope and looped back in time to finally give us a backstory for Scarlett Johansson’s dearly-departed Avenger, Natasha Romanoff. But Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is giving audiences the first standalone origin story of Phase Four, and the first in the franchise since 2019’s Captain Marvel, with the long-awaited introduction of Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi – and this time, you won’t be able to watch it on streaming right away.
Directed by Short Term 12 and Just Mercy filmmaker Dustin Daniel Cretton, Shang-Chi also stars Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, and Tony Leung, and promises to open up a whole new world of magic (and franchise-best action) in the MCU. And if you’re wondering where you can watch it, when it’s in theaters, and if it’s currently streaming, we’ve got you covered with our regularly updated guide to how to watch Shang-Chi right now.
Watch Now: Shang-Chi Online For Free
When does Shang-Chi come out?
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe arrives on Sept. 3, 2021. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is expected to be released globally on different dates. Here’s the schedule for the release of Shang-Chi:
September 1: France, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Netherlands, Sweden, and Singapore
September 2: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Hong Kong, Hungary, Mexico, Cambodia, Portugal, Serbia, Russia, Slovakia, Taiwan, and Ukraine.
September 3: Bulgaria, Canada, Spain, Finland, UK, Ireland, India, Iceland, Latvia, Poland, Turkey, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, and the USA.
Is Shang-Chi Streaming?
Unlike the most recent theatrical MCU release, Black Widow, Shang-Chi will not have a day-and-date streaming release on Disney+. Disney and Marvel Studios are debuting Shang-Chi exclusively in theaters nationwide and based on their last theatrical debut, it will probably stay that way for a while.
Free Guy was Disney’s first exclusively theatrical release of 2021 (released under their 20th Century Studios banner), opening wide on August 13. No streaming details have been announced for Free Guy yet, but we do know when it arrives on home video – and that’s still about a month away. Free Guy arrives on Digital Sept. 28, followed by a 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD release on October 12.
Per a report in Business Insider, Disney plans to make Shang-Chi available to watch at home in some capacity after a 45-day theatrical window. That lines up exactly with how they rolled out Free Guy, so following that timeline, we should hopefully get an official announcement in near future.
Either way, bookmark this page for more. We’ll update this space when we have more details about Shang-Chi’s streaming, VOD, Blu-ray, and streaming release schedule.
How to watch Shang-Chi online for free
So how can one watch Shang-Chi online for free? Well, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings won’t be available to stream on Disney Plus until October 18, 2021. The service costs $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year (which saves subscribers $15.98 from the monthly price.) Still, there are ways to subscribe to Disney+ at no cost and watch Shang-Chi online for free when it’s available to stream. Read on for how to do that.
Verizon Unlimited Free Subscription
If you’re a Verizon customer (or know someone who is), Verizon offers free Disney Plus subscription with its Unlimited plans (a.k.a. Get More Unlimited, Play More Unlimited, Verizon Plan Unlimited, Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited and Above Unlimited.) If you have one of these plans, you can sign-up for a free six-month Disney+ subscription (which saves you about $42.) Click here for Verizon’s FAQ on how to sign up for its free Disney+ subscription.
Watch Now: Shang-Chi Online For Free
Verizon customers with Get More Unlimited and Play More Unlimited plans are also eligible for their Disney Bundle, which offers not only a free Disney Plus subscription for as long as you have your Verizon plan, but also free Hulu and ESPN+ subscriptions too, which saves viewers about $12.99 per month. Click here for Verizon’s FAQ on how to sign up for its Disney Bundle. So there you have it—a way to watch Disney Plus for free.
Amazon Music Unlimited Free Subscription
New Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can receive a free six-month subscription to Disney Plus. Current Amazon Music Unlimited Subscribers are also eligible for a free three-month subscription to Disney Plus. Amazon Music Unlimited offers a 30-day free trial and costs $7.99 per month for Amazon Prime Members—which is the same monthly rate as Disney Plus. This means that customers can receive both an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription and a Disney Plus subscription for less than $4 each.
Watch Now: Shang-Chi Online For Free
Not an Amazon Prime Member? Amazon Prime also offers a 30-day free trial, so customers can sign up for the free trial and subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited for the cheaper price. If you’re a student, you can also receive a free six-month trial of Amazon Prime, as well as an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription for just 99 cents per month. Click here for more on how to sign up for Amazon Music’s Disney Plus deal.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Free Trial
Xbox Game Pass users with new or existing “Ultimate” tier subscriptions are eligible to claim a 30-day free trial offer with Disney Plus as of June 2021. Microsoft announced the perk to coincide with the premiere of Loki on Disney Plus following an earlier offer in November 2020 in honor of the second season of The Mandalorian.
Though the previous offer expired in January 2021, Microsoft decided to partner with Disney Plus again—and the good news is that this perk is available for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members whether or not they claimed the previous Disney+ Perk. To claim it, all you need is an “Ultimate” tier Xbox Game Pass subscription (priced at $14.99 per month), which gives you access to the perks gallery on an Xbox console, the Xbox app on a Windows PC, or the Xbox Game Pass mobile app on iOS and Android.
After claiming the perk, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate users will be directed to Disney Plus to activate their 30-day free trial. The catch? Members can only claim and activate the trial from June 8, 2021, until September 30, 2021. It’s also worth keeping in mind that the 30-day free trial will be set to auto-renew your subscription, so remember to cancel your Disney Plus membership before your free trial period is over if you don’t want to pay $7.99 a month.
Where to Watch Shang-Chi
That’s right, folks. Right now, if you want to watch Shang-Chi, then you’re going to have to do it in theaters—an understandably dicey prospect for many during a global pandemic. Still, Disney is taking a chance on Shang-Chi, giving the film a wide theatrical release in the U.S. and internationally.
Last month (via Deadline), Disney CEO Bob Chapek called the theatrical release for Shang-Chi “an interesting experiment,” adding that it will be “another data point” for the studio as it tries to come up with a commercially successful model for big-budget feature film releases during the COVID-19 era. However Shang-Chi performs at the box office—also factoring in the ever-shifting state and national mandates around social distancing and venue capacity—will inform how Disney handles future releases, including other upcoming MCU Phase 4 blockbusters like The Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Home, both set to come out before the end of the year.
Is Shang-Chi Available with Disney+ Premier Access?
Also no. Pretty much every Disney movie release this year has been made immediately available on streaming in some capacity, even if with an extra fee, but not Shang-Chi.
While Pixar films Soul and Luca were released directly to Disney+, Black Widow, Cruella, and Jungle Cruise were only made available to watch at home via Disney+ Premier Access, for an additional $29.99 fee. However, Shang-Chi will not be available to watch with Premier Access on September 3.
It’s possible Disney may adjust their strategy, but for the time being, the only way to see Shang-Chi is in theaters.
Shang-Chi Disney+ Release Date Details
Of course, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will eventually make its way to Disney+. Right now, Disney has a planned 45-day theatrical release run (shorter than the traditional 90-day window) for the film, which means it should hit Disney+ in mid-October. If the box office is doing poorly, which is not exactly unlikely given the global pandemic, Disney could choose to change that plan. But, right now, look for Shang-Chi on Disney+ on October 17, 2021.
Watch Now: Shang-Chi Online For Free
While we know Shang-Chi will come to Disney’s +, it’s unclear if it will be available for all subscribers or if MCU fans will have to pay an additional fee (usually $30) using the “Premier Access” model—Disney could choose to make Shang-Chi a “Premier Access” film for the rest of that traditional 90-day window. However, given the hubbub caused by the initial introduction of “Premier Access” around Mulan‘s release, which happened solely on Disney+, my money would be on Shang-Chi going straight to basic Disney+ access.
How to watch Shang-Chi online in the US at home
Shang-Chi comes crashing onto streaming service HBO Max from Friday, September 3. As with previous Marvel Cinematic Universe 2021 releases, it’s made available online day-and-date with its theatrical release, where you can watch it as much as you want for a 45 day period.
There are currently two HBO Max subscription plans available: one ‘With Ads’ at $9.99 a month, and the other ‘Ad Free’ at the familiar $14.99 monthly rate. If you want to watch Shang-Chi online, however, you’ll need to shell out for the latter option, because early access to WB blockbusters isn’t a feature of the cheaper plan – and neither is crisp 4K UHD picture quality, for that matter.
But if the $14.99 fee seems steep, you could save 16% by committing to its annual plan for $149.99 for the 12-months.
You stream content on a wide range of devices compatible with the HBO Max app. These include: iPhone and Android devices, Apple, Samsung, and Amazon Fire TVs, Roku, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S consoles, Chromecast and Chromebooks, in addition to laptops and PCs running Chrome, Mac, or Windows operating systems.
How to watch Shang-Chi in the UK
Like other Marvel Cinematic Universe since UK cinemas reopened, Shang-Chi is getting an exclusive cinema release and it’s out right now.
There will eventually be a digital release for the movie, but it might not be for a while yet. For instance, Space Jam: A New Legacy came out in cinemas on July 16 and is out to rent at home from September 1.
At least you can head straight to your local cinema if you want to watch Candyman in the meantime.
How to watch Shang-Chi across the rest of the world
Across much of the globe cinemas are open again, and so movies like Shang-Chi are getting an international theatrical release. If you feel like venturing out, the film lands on Thursday, September 2 in Australia, while it’s available the same day as the US in both the UK and Canada on September 3.
Currently, there’s no confirmation whether Shang-Chi will be procured by any of the major VOD platforms in these territories. However, many of the 2021 Marvel Cinematic Universe films released on HBO Max – like The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It – have been made available internationally to rent as PVOD (premium video on demand) titles, on services like Amazon Prime Video, Apple iTunes, and Google Play Store. While we don’t know for certain yet, it’ll be worth checking these websites to see if that holds true for Shang-Chi.
What is Shang-Chi about?
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is based on the Marvel Comics character, Shang-Chi (also known as Master of Kung Fu or Brother Hand), who made his debut in the comics’ “Special Marvel Edition #15” in December 1973. In Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Shang-Chi is a skilled martial artist who was trained at a young age by the Ten Rings organization to be an assassin by his father, Wenwu. When he becomes older, Shang-Chi leaves the Ten Rings organization to live a normal life in San Francisco under the name “Shaun.” The movie follows Shang-Chi as he confronts his past and is drawn back into his father’s Ten Rings organization.
“This movie is the first time that I think Marvel has put a lot of their emphasis in the action design and, specifically, the choreography,” director Destin Daniel Cretton told Fandango in August 2021. “And it’s their first time really tackling a more purely martial arts movie, which is super exciting to be a part of. They obviously didn’t hire me because I’m amazing at martial arts movies, so there’s also a very strong emotional, dramatic and comedic element to these characters.”
Who is Shang-Chi?
The character, a master of unarmed combat, first appeared in Marvel comics in 1973, when the ABC TV drama Kung Fu, starring David Carradine, was popular. Shang-Chi was born the son of supervillain Fu Manchu but later opposed his father’s ways. In 2013, he joined The Avengers. He’s also been affiliated with the Heroes for Hire but is often simply a lone-wolf character.
Who is in the Shang-Chi cast?
Simu Liu, who is also known his work in Netflix’s Kim’s Convenience, plays the lead role of Shang-Chi. Awkwafina, who has starred in movies like Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians, plays Shang-Chi’s best friend, Katy. Tony Leung, who has acted in films like Chungking Express and Happy Together, plays Shang-Chi’s dad, Wenwu a.k.a. The Mandarin. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (who also directed movies like Short Term 12 and Just Mercy.) The movie is written by Cretton, Dave Callaham and Andrew Lanham, and produced by Kevin Feige and Jonathan Schwartz.
See the full cast of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings below.
- Simu Liu as Shang-Chi
- Awkwafina as Katy:
- Meng’er Zhang as Xialing
- Fala Chen as Jiang Li
- Florian Munteanu as Razor Fist
- Benedict Wong as Wong
- Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan:
- Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery
- Tony Leung as Wenwu / The Mandarin