2020 was a bizarre year in so many ways. The global pandemic impacted every aspect of life in one way or another, but one of the biggest was the way it impacted previously simple activities. Going out to eat or going to the movies became either incredibly complicated, or simply impossible. This meant that all the big movies we were all waiting for last year were delayed. Marvel Studios was planning to debut a pair of big screen adventures, as well as its first Disney+ series last year, and we got none of it. It was the first year since 2009 that no Marvel movies were on the screen.
So what was it like being inside Marvel Studios and having an unexpected year "off," with no major films to promote? Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige spoke with CinemaBlend about the year without a Marvel movie and he says that, while the down time did give the studio more time to plan for the future, there wasn't quite as much downtime as it seemed, as every element of production, except actual filming, was able to ramp up to full speed in pretty short order. The only thing that truly disappeared entirely was Marvel's ability to talk about the things that were being worked on. According to Feige...
Well, I think we all had an unexpected year to do other things. In addition to thinking and planning, we were also finishing and producing, post and shooting, and we were able to finish and start many, many things. … It was very impressive how the team, both within Marvel Studios itself and on all the productions going, were able to, by July, get back to full on pre-production, full-on development, full-on post-production. And then a little bit later in August and September, (we were) safely going back into production on things. So it’s mainly just been continuing to work. The biggest change has been not sharing anything with the public, and not speaking to great folks like yourself as we work on these things. So I'm very, very excited that that changes (with WandaVision).
Movies like Black Widow and Eternals had finished filming when everything shut down in march of 2020. Those films had post-production work to be done, but as that can be done largely by people sitting at computers creating digital effects or editing film, it could still be done while keeping safety in mind. Some parts of pre-production could also be handled in a similar way. This allowed filming to progress once that was able to move forward. In addition to Black Widow and Eternals, both Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings and the next Spider-Man movie have completed filming, and Thor: Love and Thunder is filming in Australia now, or will be getting started soon.
We've seen some of what all that extra planning time has led to, as Marvel announced several new Disney+ series set in the MCU last month, and officially revealed a Fantastic Four movie was on the way. There almost certainly is even more we don't yet know about. At least something good came out of this whole mess. The only question is when we'll actually be able to see most of it.