Shang-Chi concept art reveals Deadpool almost had a surprising MCU cameo

We’ve been waiting for Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) to appear in the MCU ever since Disney completed the Fox acquisition and confirmed that the Merc with a Mouth will return. Reynolds recently hinted that Deadpool 3 details might be soon revealed while denying Doctor Strange 2 cameo rumors. But previously unseen concept art for Shang-Chi shows that Marvel considered introducing Deadpool much earlier.

More interestingly, Deadpool wouldn’t be the only head-turning cameo in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The mutant would fight none other than Proxima Midnight (Carrie Coon) in the brief scene. That sounds out of this world. The MCU world, to be more precise. And it is. Before we explain, know that some MCU spoilers might follow.

Deadpool wasn’t in Shang-Chi

Shang-Chi is one of the MCU highlights of 2021, and we can’t wait to see the character in other MCU adventures now that Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) is an Avenger. Aside from telling his origin story, Shang-Chi also delivers a few important tidbits about the Avengers.

The film is the first to tell us how important Wong (Benedict Wong) is now. We learn later, in No Way Home, that he is the latest Sorcerer Supreme. Shang-Chi also reveals that the Avengers are still working closely together, monitoring the big threats that remain after Thanos. That implies that we’ll have some sort of big Avengers 5 in the future.

Shang-Chi concept art shows Deadpool fighting Proxima Midnight. Image source: Andrew Kim Art

Finally, the film also gives us a few exciting cameos. The list includes Tim Roth’s Abomination, which will be returning in She-Hulk. Also fascinating is the Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) cameo. Banner got rid of Professor Hulk for some reason. We might see all that explained in She-Hulk.

But, as you can see, there’s never been any talk of Deadpool in Shang-Chi. Or mutants.

This brings us to the concept art seen above. We’re looking at a cage fight between Deadpool and Proxima Midnight for Shang-Chi. That’s the kind of cameo that would have stunned the audience had Marvel gone forward with it.

The concept art explained

For starters, these two characters can’t be in the MCU right now, although there would be a way to explain them. The MCU doesn’t have a Deadpool. If it did, it’s yet to appear. That is, we’re yet to see any mutants in the MCU. As for Proxima, she died in the MCU twice.

This reality’s Proxima was first killed in Infinity War. A variant from a different universe then perished at the end of the battle in Endgame, when Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) turned the invading force into ashes.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Abomination and Wong fighting in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings trailer. Image source: Marvel Studios

The only way you have these two battle each other in the MCU is if you bring in the multiverse. And that makes no sense for Shang-Chi. However, there is one explanation. The events in Loki unleashed the multiverse, which means characters like Deadpool and Proxima Midnight could have appeared in the primary reality.

But if that were the case, the MCU would have had a bigger multiverse problem than what we saw in No Way Home. And it would have happened much earlier.

As exciting as it might be, there’s no reason to have Deadpool in Shang-Chi. The reason why we’re looking at this particular superhero in the Shang-Chi superhero is simpler than that. Marvel might have tried all sorts of things just to visualize wild concepts. The point of that scene is to give us the Wong vs. Abomination battle that we saw in the Shang-Chi trailer. But Marvel might have toyed with all sorts of ideas for that brief cameo scene.

You can see more Shang-Chi concept art over Andrew Kim Art.

Shang-Chi concept art reveals Deadpool almost had a surprising MCU cameo

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