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Exciting as it was when it was announced earlier this year that Spider-Man would be coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the reveal also resulted in a schedule disruption for four of Marvel Studios’ upcoming projects. At the time, many wondered how this move wouldn’t completely throw all if the company’s plans out of whack – given that Marvel has become notorious for planning 10 steps ahead. Well, as it turns out, Spider-Man’s inclusion to the MCU actually didn’t really disrupt things all that much, and it’s for a rather simple reason: all of the shifted projects are still so early in development that there’s not really enough to disrupt.
With the Avengers: Age of Ultron press junket held this weekend, I had the fantastic opportunity to sit down one-on-one with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, and it was during our chat that he revealed why Spider-Man’s first solo movie in 2017 hasn’t really affected the narrative that is being planned for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Three. Discussing the moves of Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Inhumans to accommodate the web-slinger blockbuster, Feige explained,
I don’t think people believe us when we say we develop the movies individually, to play as movies themselves. The connectivity is never ever the driving force. Yes, we’re going to say, ‘Where did we leave them?’, so we know where our mindset is, and so we do something that doesn’t go completely against where we’d seen them before. And I would also say that was sort of extraordinary circumstances to deal with, and what I did like is that we were able to make that shift and not a single movie was delayed more than six months. So, we won’t have to wait much longer than we would have before.
This is understandable, but I was still curious about one of the affected movies in particular: Black Panther. After all, the feature was originally announced for November 3, 2017 – making it the last solo movie before The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 - but after the Spider-Man shift the project moved to July 6, 2018 – making it the first solo movie after the release of The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1. Because not much has been revealed about Black Panther yet, Kevin Feige couldn’t say much about the feature, but he did tell me,
Everything is still moving ahead - in large part, particularly in the case of Black Panther as people will see shortly with Ant-Man, it’s about their own story. We want to make a Black Panther movie so we can see Black Panther, not so we can see the further adventures of other characters whose arcs you already experienced. We want to see more of Wakanda and to see T’Challa.
As always, we’ll just have to wait and see what moves Marvel Studios starts to make as we get closer to Spider-Man and the other shifted projects, but, as always, we’ll be waiting with great anticipation.