Bad News Just Dropped For All Phase 4 MCU Movies

Bad News Just Dropped For All Phase 4 MCU Movies

Disney and Marvel Studios are certainly not
the only companies scrambling to juggle release schedules and production timelines in the
Year of the Plague, but they may have the most complicated task ahead of them, thanks
to the complexity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While movies like No Time to Die
and Wonder Woman 1984 can probably survive a little disruption in their release strategies,
Disney depends on its MCU projects hitting their cues in order to preserve the integrity
of the overarching story that links all the series and films. Thus, the bad but predictable
news that came from Disney on April 3 is especially tough for Marvel Phase 4. Let’s break it down. Rewinding a bit, in mid-March 2020 came the
news that production on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in Prague had been halted due
to government measures in the Czech Republic intended to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Then, as it became clear that movie theaters wouldn’t be opening back up any time soon,
Disney was forced to reevaluate the upcoming release dates for some of its biggest films.
Here’s the rub: the changes that the Mouse House announced on April 3 don’t just impact
April and May movies. The effects on the MCU ripple all the way out to 2022. “Isn’t it beautiful? A world beyond time.” In film, scheduling changes often have cascading
consequences. The entire release schedule is designed to avoid major conflicts. If a
studio releases two tent poles on the same weekend, they run the risk of cannibalizing
their own ticket sales. So when you punt one big film to a later date, it often means shifting
the big movie that was originally scheduled for the second date and so on, and so on. According to Variety, Disney’s new release
schedule includes some major changes to Marvel Phase 4 projects, including Black Widow, The
Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse
of Madness, and the fourth Thor movie, Thor: Love and Thunder. Other big-budget family
flicks like Indiana Jones 5 and Jungle Cruise have also been affected by the changes, though
the shuffling of the MCU appears to be the most significant repercussion of the rescheduling
for fans and Disney both. “Buddy. You alright?” “Yes, I’m fine, why? D-don’t I look alright?” As fans know, Phase 4 of the MCU will kick
off with Black Widow, a prequel flick focusing on Scarlet Johansson’s super spy-turned-Avenger.
That’s still very much the plan, but Black Widow has just been delayed from its intended
May 1 debut all the way back to November 6. That means Phase 4 won’t begin until this
fall, throwing the entire plan off course. It also means that Black Widow has taken the
spot of another Phase 4 staple, The Eternals. Obviously, Disney and Marvel aren’t going
to release two movies on the same day, so The Eternals has had to move to February 12,
2021 the day that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was meant to open in theaters.
Shifting Black Widow to what’s ostensibly the other available release date for a Marvel
movie has created a domino effect, with each Phase 4 MCU film now occupying the date that
its successor was initially slotted in. Shang-Chi will hit cinemas on May 7, 2021, followed
by the reality-bending Doctor Strange sequel on November 5, 2021. Disney and Marvel gave
Thor: Love and Thunder a totally new release date not previously listed on the 2020-2021
MCU schedule: February 18, 2022. So far, Black Panther 2 is the only Phase
4 film that hasn’t been rattled by the change. Our second jaunt to the utopia of Wakanda
is still on the books for May 6, 2022. That film will be followed by another direct sequel,
Captain Marvel 2, which is set to hit theaters on July 8, 2022. While these shifts should
preserve the MCU’s hard-wrought continuity, in some cases they represent nearly year-long
delays. “What about The New Mutants?” you ask. Well,
the news is even worse for fans eagerly awaiting the X-Men’s repatriation to the Marvel canon
especially after 2019’s underwhelming Dark Phoenix. After being delayed three times before,
The New Mutants has been postponed indefinitely. It joins the ranks of Woman in the Window,
Antlers, and The Personal History of David Copperfield all Disney-owned projects currently
stranded without firm release dates. Sure to frustrate fans is the fact that many
of these delayed projects are already in the can. Instead of kicking them to streaming,
Disney has decided to hold them back in an attempt to salvage some kind of theatrical
release. Just how these changes in the film division may affect the release schedule on
Disney+ isn’t entirely clear, but we’ll continue to keep you up-to-date as the situation develops. Check out one of our newest videos right here!
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