Disney has shaken up its movie release calendar, with several Marvel Cinematic Universe flicks being delayed. The revamped schedule, which Variety reports is due to a production-related snowball effect, affects the slate for 2022 and beyond, and it will have a knock-on effect on Disney+.
All of the MCU films Disney had on the docket for 2022 have been pushed to a later slot. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was penciled in for March 25th, but now it’s taking Thor: Love and Thunder‘s old date of May 6th. The next Thor movie will arrive on July 8th, in turn pushing back Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to November 11th.
The schedule shifts mean there will only be three Marvel movies next year instead of the planned four, as Captain Marvel sequel The Marvels now has a release date of February 17th, 2023. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has moved from that date to July 28th, 2023. On the flip side, Disney brought one mystery Marvel movie (hopefully Guardians of the Galaxy 3) forward by a week from November 10th, 2023.
Elsewhere, the next Indiana Jones movie has been delayed by 11 months. You’ll need to wait until June 30th, 2023 for Harrison Ford’s fifth stint as the iconic archeologist. Ford sustained an injury while filming this summer, though he’s now back in action. A live-action Disney movie, a 20th Century film and two Marvel flicks (all untitled) have been removed from the 2023 schedule.
Remarkably, given how many times the film has been delayed over the years, Disney hasn’t shifted Avatar 2’s release date. It’s still on the schedule for December 16th, 2022.
It remains to be seen what impact these changes will have on Disney+. For the rest of 2021, Disney has committed to an exclusive theatrical window for its films before they’re available to stream, but it hasn’t divulged how things will work in 2022 and beyond.
The company adopted a simultaneous release strategy for some of its movies over the last year or so amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with Mulan, Raya and the Last Dragon, Cruella and Black Widow requiring a $30 Premier Access pass for early access on Disney+. Disney’s decision to let viewers stream Black Widow at home on the same day it hit theaters prompted a now-settled lawsuit from star Scarlett Johansson. Pixar movies Soul and Luca went straight to streaming as part of regular Disney+ subscriptions in some countries.
Elsewhere, some MCU shows on Disney+, such as Loki and Hawkeye, tie into the theatrical movies. As such, the scheduling of future series might be impacted by the overhauled theatrical slate.
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