Why The Major Marvel Delays Will Actually Be A Good Thing, Says Doctor Strange Director

Scott Derrickson with Benedict Cumberbatch on the Doctor Strange set

In recent years, fans have come to expect to see a lot of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the big screen, with two or three blockbusters coming out between January and December now being the norm... but that's not what we're going to be getting in 2020. Due to the on-going global crisis, Marvel has been forced to change their original release schedule plans, and the only title coming out this calendar year will be Cate Shortland's Black Widow.

This alteration has made a lot of movie-goers a bit upset, but one person seeing the silver lining is Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, who sees the major film delays in Hollywood as potentially being a good thing.

In the wake of the big Marvel news that dropped on Friday, Scott Derrickson took to Twitter to spread a message suggesting that studios pushing their plans for their upcoming slate could wind up creating serious benefits – in the process bringing up the schedule for one of the greatest science-fiction films of all time:

The pushing of all these big tentpole release dates will increase their overall quality — more time for script & production design development. Blade Runner looks so amazing because Ridley Scott & his team took a year during the 80-81 actors & WGA strikes to perfect the visuals.

Anyone who regularly follows film development or is a filmmaker themselves can appreciate the message that is being sent here. So many behind-the-scenes issues in the making of a movie are created because of time restraints and the necessity for productions to hit particular deadlines so that the finished product can be sent to theaters on time. This is especially true for the blockbusters made by Marvel Studios, given the company's history announcing projects along with specific release dates. Now, with everything pushed back, filmmakers working on all of the various productions have been given the gift of extra time to further think about their individual projects and come up with ways to make them even better than they otherwise would have been.

When you think about it further, all of the delays may end up really working in the favor of the various Marvel Studios releases, especially given the shake-ups that have been happening in recent years. You may remember that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was originally being planned as one of the big 2020 releases, but that went out the window when the company fired James Gunn in summer 2018. And while Gunn was eventually hired back, Marvel was still forced to change their production plans for Phase 4.

Extending from this situation, both of the movies that were originally set to come out this year, Black Widow and The Eternals, were going to do so with less than a year passing between the start of their respective productions and their individual release dates – which is pretty crazy when you think about the scale of their storytelling. Now the titles have been given a little extra time to marinate in post-production, with Black Widow going from May 2020 to November 2020, and The Eternals going from November 2020 to February 2021, and hopefully the filmmakers wind up using that extra time wisely.

As for Scott Derrickson, this isn't the first time that he has commented publicly about the dangers of blockbuster schedule planning, calling studio release dates the "enemy of art," so his perspective on this matter isn't exactly surprising. And while he's not currently personally working on a Marvel movie, having left the development of Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness back in January, hopefully he is using the time during the current social distancing/self-isolation time to improve any or all of the projects that he is cooking up.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.