It’s the release date shift of madness, as Marvel has announced delays for almost all of its post-2021 features. The shakeup will see nearly the entire 2022-2023 slate of Disney-released films swapping positions, with Indiana Jones 5 also affected.
The moves are cascading, with each movie moving to fill the slot previously held by the next film down the line. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (originally scheduled for March 25th, 2022) now takes Thor: Love and Thunder off its May 6th spot, which in turn moves onto Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s July 8th date.
The highly anticipated Black Panther sequel, expected to see Letitia Wright’s Shuri picking up the mantle from the late Chadwick Boseman, forces Nia DaCosta’s Captain Marvel follow-up The Marvels into 2023, where it takes the February 17th slot previously held by Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. That sequel, which will mark the return of Jonathan Majors after his triumphant debut in Loki, is now due out on July 28th, 2023.
That July date was previously held by an untitled Marvel project — which has been removed entirely from the schedule. The same goes for another unannounced film penciled in for October 6th, 2023, while a November 10th, 2023 movie has actually moved up a week to November 3rd. It’s likely two of these films are Blade (starring Mahershala Ali) and Fantastic Four (from Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts).
Indiana Jones 5, which is currently filming with a 79-year-old Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelson, and Antonio Banderas, has been pushed back nearly a full year. That picture, coming from James Mangold for the Disney-owned Lucasfilm Ltd., is now whipping into theaters on June 30th, 2023. That moves it well away from its previous July 29th, 2022 competition from Warner Bros./DC’s Black Adam, and means Ford will be nearly 81 when we see him back in the fedora.
As Deadline reports, the shifts shouldn’t cause cinema-goers or exhibitioners to panic. In fact, the moves are simply Disney responding to standard production and filmmaking issues; rather than rush anything, they’ve decided to let things wrap naturally and the dominoing release dates are the result. Recent strong openings like Halloween Kills, No Time to Die, and Venom: Let There Be Carnage have proven that the box office is coming back, so these Marvel delays shouldn’t have cinema-goers or exhibitioners fretting.
Besides, there’s still plenty of fresh Marvel fare on the horizon. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (which recently added Will Poulter as Adam Warlock) is standing strong on its May 5th, 2023 release date, and 2021 still has No Way Home and Eternals coming. Then there’s the litany of Disney+ projects, like November 24th’s Hawkeye and 2022’s Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, She-Hulk, and Secret Invasion, plus the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special coming in December ’22.
Like Thanos himself, Marvel is inevitable.