It seems as though every week, there is a story about another big movie getting delayed. For now, Wonder Woman 1984 is the only surefire blockbuster sticking to its release date — but it’s their competitors at Marvel that have been most battered by the coronavirus shuffle.
After a 2019 that was astonishing for Avengers: Endgame alone, 2020 was supposed to be the year the MCU launched Phase 4, including its first wave of TV shows. Now, only one of those shows, WandaVision, is expected to launch this year, making the spotlight on it even more intense.
Before the pandemic hit
A Reddit thread asked its readers to imagine there had never been any delays at all. It states:
We would’ve already seen Black Widow & Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Eternals would’ve been out in like 2 weeks.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier would’ve finished it’s 1st season already.
Trailers for Dr. Strange: Multiverse of Madness, Shang-Chi and Loki would’ve been right around the corner.
We would know the title for Spider-Man 3 because it would’ve started filming sooner
Black Widow was supposed to kick off the Marvel year, and indeed the summer moviegoing season in May. Then, Eternals was supposed to be out in early November. And we also would have had the first Marvel TV series produced by Kevin Feige and company, in roughly this order: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, What If …? and Hawkeye.
Then, in 2021, we were supposed to get Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Spider-Man 3 with Tom Holland and Thor: Love and Thunder. How things have changed.
Where the release dates stand now
While every big Hollywood franchise has been affected by the pandemic, Marvel has been hit harder than the others because of its famous interconnectivity. If one movie moved, all the other movies and TV shows had to as well.
What had been one of the studio’s greatest assets suddenly became a liability. Here are the movie release dates as they stand.
Black Widow: May 7, 2021
Shang-Chi: July 9
Eternals: Nov. 5
Thor: Love and Thunder: Feb. 11, 2022
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: March 25, 2022
There have been no concrete release dates for the TV shows, but here are the general time frames:
WandaVision: December 2020
Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki and What If: 2021
Other announced TV shows include She-Hulk, Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel, which will probably debut in 2022.
There were reports that Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black had been cast as the lead in She-Hulk, but Maslany has denied this. Oscar Isaac has been cast as Moon Knight, according to reports.
‘WandaVision’ has become the last hope for 2020
All this shuffling has left WandaVision as the unlikely last production standing, with every other production being moved, or actually shut down because of the pandemic as Falcon was.
Before the pandemic, WandaVision was this oddball show satirizing old TV tropes ranging from Leave it to Beaver to The Brady Bunch and beyond. A word often used to describe the show is “bonkers.”
WandaVision is still all those things, but now it finds itself in the position of being the standard-bearer for the MCU’s TV shows, and it also reportedly feeds into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness somehow. Loki was supposed to do the same, although that doesn’t seem as certain with all the shuffling.
What is certain is that WandaVision is even more anticipated than it already was. One fan on Reddit said, “Thankfully we have WandaVision to look forward to. That MCU thirst is real.” Another fan cracked this joke: “It’s all because (Captain America) didn’t return a stone. He got selfish for once and 2020 got f—up.”