Marvel Studios Release Date Shakeup: 'Black Widow', 'Eternals', and 'Shang-Chi' Delayed
Updated: Oct 16, 2020
Disney has once again announced the delay of several upcoming Marvel Studios blockbusters - however, only three movies have shifted this time, instead of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe slate.
Black Widow, originally scheduled for May 1st, 2020, has moved from November 6th to May 7th, 2021. Marvel's next two films are following Black Widow's path deeper into 2021, with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings moving from May 7th to July 9th, while Eternals moves from February 12th to November 5th.
With this delay, Black Widow and Eternals are now debuting a year later than originally expected, and the MCU's release schedule has been broken once more with Shang-Chi releasing before Eternals. While this schedule is not as important going into Phase Four since new groundwork is being laid, it's certainly a far cry from what was announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019. The untitled sequel to Spider-Man: Far From Home is currently scheduled for release on December 17th, 2021, while Marvel's 2022 slate has Thor: Love and Thunder releasing on February 11th, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on March 25th, Black Panther II on May 6th, and the untitled Captain Marvel sequel on July 8th.
I'm anticipating even more shifts in the MCU release schedule, especially when you factor in the Disney+ series. WandaVision is now the only Marvel Studios project releasing in 2020, and given how the movies and series are tied together, I wouldn't be surprised if The Falcon and the Winter Soldier doesn't debut until next August to ensure it still releases after Black Widow. Loki and What If...? seem to be on schedule for early to mid-2021, while Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight are beginning production soon. The other reason I expect delays is because of how crowded 2022 is. If this schedule remains intact, we'll be getting four MCU movies within six months of each other, which to me is ridiculous, even as a huge Marvel fan. Doctor Strange in particular is unceremoniously shoved into the end of March, a poor release date for a movie that was meant to kick off summer 2021 by cracking open the multiverse and introducing new members of the Young Avengers. With the tragic and unexpected death of Chadwick Boseman, I also expect Black Panther II to be delayed, which would open up the May slot for Doctor Strange.
Despite the delays heavily affecting the MCU due to its interconnected nature, I'm glad Disney is choosing to release every single movie in theaters and not send Black Widow to Disney+ Premier Access as they did for Mulan. After waiting for 10 years to see Natasha Romanoff get her own solo film, it would've been a great shame to see it sent to a streaming service or digital. Hopefully we can all see Black Widow in theaters in May 2021!
What do you think of the MCU release slate shifting again? Which Phase Four movie or Disney+ series are you most excited for? Comment below!