Remember 2020? I’m sure you do since it was only a few days ago and also a nightmare. In addition to all the other crazy shit that happened last year, 2020 was also the first time in 11 years that moviegoers were denied a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. The delay was due to COVID-19, and, as of now, Marvel hopes to release at least four new MCU films in 2021, along with the MCU show WandaVision, which is hitting Disney+, all of which are part of Phase Four of the MCU. Marvel plans their films out in advance, so you might think the coronavirus delay would screw up Phase Four, but according to Marvel Studios’ big cheese Kevin Feige, the studio got lucky.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe got put on hold in 2020 thanks to the coronavirus, but 2021 is shaping up to bring it back in a big way. Next week, Phase Four will officially begin with WandaVision on Disney+. After that, as 2021 ticks on, Marvel hopes to release Phase Four films Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, and the Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel in theaters, along with the Phase Four Disney+ shows The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki.
But did the 2020 delay screw up Phase Four’s plans? According to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, not really! Speaking with The New York Times, Feige explained that if the pandemic and the subsequent shutdown of new theatrical releases had hit before the release of Avengers: Endgame, the MCU might be in a spot of trouble. But with things happening the way they did, Phase Four of the MCU seems good to go.
“If the run we had in 2018 and 2019 had gotten disrupted this way, in the buildup to Endgame, it would have been a bigger headache,” Feige said. “With these projects, it worked well,” and added that “he debut dates for the upcoming Dinsey+ shows shifted only “by a matter of weeks.”
Now, there’s still a chance that the 2021 movies get moved around a bit – the pandemic is still very much happening, and the rollout of the vaccine has been flawed, to say the least. But as of now, Black Widow is set to open May 7, 2021, followed by Shang-Chi on July 9, 2021, Eternals on November 5, 2021, and Spider-Man 3 (or whatever it ends up being called) arriving December 17, 2021. Meanwhile, Disney+ will debut Falcon and the Winter Soldier on March 19, 2021, while Loki will premiere sometime in May.
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