Once Disney delayed Black Widow last month, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans rightly started wondering how that decision would affect the franchise’s future. Sure enough, Natasha Romanoff’s solo adventure being pushed back has now led to a longer wait for many of Marvel Studios’ upcoming movies.
As part of Disney’s massive rescheduling, Black Widow is now hitting theaters on November 6, the date that previously belong to The Eternals. That movie, which sees the eponymous cosmic beings battling The Deviants, has subsequently been pushed to February 12, 2021, which is when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was supposed to come out. You can probably see where this is going.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will now arrive on May 7, 2021, with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness following on November 5, 2021 and Thor: Love and Thunder landing on February 18, 2022, a date that had originally belonged to an untitled Marvel movie. The third MCU-set Spider-Man movie is still set for July 16, 2021, although because that’s a Sony picture, it’s possible it could also be delayed, and the studio will announce as much at a later date (there was no mention of Spider-Man in Sony’s delays announcement earlier this week).
As for what 2022 holds in store after Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther 2 is still sitting cozy on May 6, 2022, and it was also revealed that Captain Marvel 2 will come out on July 8, 2022. Interestingly, Marvel Studios had previously reserved July 29, 2022 for an unidentified movie, but now the studio has snagged an earlier weekend. In any case, that’s where the current MCU film slate ends for now, as it hasn’t been revealed yet what’s coming out on October 7, 2022 or in 2023.
As you can see, Black Widow set off a chain of events that’s led to Phase 4 now ending in early 2022 rather than late 2021. As far as Phase 5 goes, we’ll just have to wait longer for that movie that was slotted in February 2022, but at least now it’s official that Captain Marvel 2, which is being written by WandaVision’s Megan McDonnell, will be following Black Panther 2, which has Ryan Coogler returning to write and direct.
Of course, if you follow the MCU news cycle, you know that plenty of other Marvel movies have already been announced to be in development, including Blade, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Ant-Man 3, as well as X-Men and Fantastic Four reboots. This slate shift means we’ll have to wait a little longer for all these projects, but it’d be nice to know at some point which of them will comprise the rest of Phase 5.
As always, keep checking back with CinemaBlend for the latest and greatest MCU updates, including what’s happening with the franchise’s Disney+ shows. If you’re curious about what other movies have been delayed by current events, look through our detailed guide.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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