With Hollywood productions shut down due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Walt Disney Studios just issued a massive change to their release calendar for the rest of the year, resulting in major changes to Marvel Studios‘ plans for Phase 4 of the MCU. While other films like Mulan, Artemis Fowl, and Bob’s Burgers received major changes to plans for their release, the entire schedule for the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been hit with major delays, aside from Sony’s release date for the next Spider-Man sequel. And while one major Marvel movie was officially revealed, another was removed from the calendar altogether.
In Disney’s updated release calendar, the Marvel Studios movie scheduled to release on February 18, 2022, has since been removed entirely. That spot on the calendar has since been replaced by Thor: Love and Thunder.
This doesn’t mean that Marvel has cancelled their plans for whatever film was in the works there, as they simply lost the release date for Black Widow to come out this May and have since shuffled all of their releases back, with the Scarlett Johansson movie taking the spot for The Eternals which had a cascading effect down the line.
A previously untitled Marvel Studios movie was officially revealed to be Captain Marvel 2 by Disney, though that release date was shuffled up three weeks, originally dated for July 29, 2022, but will now come out on July 8, 2022.
There is also another untitled Marvel film that’s dated for October 7, 2022, as well as the entire slate for 2023 seemingly unaffected by all of these delays because they are simply flags to mark their territory; Marvel Studios might not even have firm plans for all of these release dates at this point in time, so the fact that one movie was “removed” does not mean that they are cancelling a project altogether. This is just an unavoidable action after the dominoes fell from Black Widow‘s delay, along with many other productions from Walt Disney Studios.
As the effects of the coronavirus continue to ravage many industries across the globe, it’s still a mystery as to when work will resume in Hollywood, when movie theaters will reopen, and what the business itself will look like when life returns to a sense of normalcy.
With AMC Theaters’ credit rating being downgraded and other venue chains likely to suffer the same fate, we might be looking at an entirely different movie industry when the threat of coronavirus and COVID-19 finally subsides.
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