Disney has postponed five separate Marvel movies and removed release dates for two more in a major rescheduling of schedule. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for its carefully planned timetables, as each movie often relies on another for both its set-up and continuation. The coronavirus epidemic prompted Marvel Studios to postpone every movie and television show scheduled for 2020, posing a major challenge to the franchise. The MCU, on the other hand, seems to have finally found a fixed timetable after several adjustments.
The year started with Disney+ programs like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but they were never as hard to prepare as the movies. Black Widow was the first photo to be delayed in 2020, finally arriving in July, followed by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in September. The MCU has two additional movies planned for the rest of the year: Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Home (a Sony release), both of which will be released in November and December respectively.
However, the MCU’s calendars for 2022 and 2023 have just been reshuffled. Disney has formally announced the postponement of five upcoming Marvel movies, starting with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It was originally scheduled for March 20, 2022, but has since been postponed to May 6, 2022. That’s the new release date for Thor: Love and Thunder, which will now be out July 8, 2022, replacing Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The release date for the sequel has been pushed back to November 11, 2022. Meanwhile, the Marvels have left 2022 and will be released on February 17, 2023. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has also been rescheduled for July 28, 2023.
In addition, two undisclosed Marvel movies scheduled for 2023 have been canceled, one of which has been rescheduled for November 3, 2023. It was initially scheduled for a week later, on November 10. The two unnamed MCU movies that were canceled were set to release on July 28 and October 6, respectively. These massive delays are apparently due to production issues rather than box office concerns, which makes sense given that Shang-Chi has already become the highest-grossing film of 2021 at this point in the year. Disney also changed the release dates for Indiana Jones 5, an unnamed live-action movie, and a 20th Century Fox movie, but Marvel got the most of the adjustments due to the intertwined structure of the MCU.
Aside from the two remaining MCU movies for this year, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is expected to be released in May 2023. This may indicate that film isn’t as closely tied to the other pursuits, so where it falls on the general timeframe isn’t as important. Because of the MCU’s ongoing universe narrative, sequels like Doctor Strange 2 and Ant-Man 3 are meant to blend into each other, and they have to move in sync to make it all make sense.
This is undoubtedly disappointing for Marvel fans who have been looking forward to all these movies, but it comes as no surprise at this point either. The epidemic has forced studios to adapt to such shifts, and Marvel Studios is no exception. Hopefully this will become a sustainable routine.