Marvel‘s been releasing multiples movies per years since the beginning of the MCU, with both Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk arriving in 2008. By 2017, the success of the franchise was such that it became the norm to drop three a year. What’s more, 2021 will be a first for the studio as four MCU films will release in between February and November.
As 2021 is something of a special circumstance – more on why in a moment – it was unclear whether this would be the new norm from then on. But it’s looking like the studio will alternate between three and four going forward. That’s according to Walt Disney Studios co-chairman and chief creative officer Alan Horn. In conversation with THR and other Hollywood execs, he said the following:
“[Marvel Studios head] Kevin Feige is working away. He will be making three or four a year.”
In 2021, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange into the Multiverse of Madness, Spider-Man 3 and Thor: Love and Thunder will be released under the MCU banner. The addition of SM3 to the lineup came later due to Sony and Disney taking some time to extend their partnership. 2020 will also only see Black Widow and The Eternals coming out, so evening out the numbers with four in 2021 seemed logical. But now we know it won’t be just a one-off.
This makes sense given just how many properties and sub-franchises Marvel Studios has on their books now. There’s much-anticipated sequels like Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to come as well as ex-Fox properties like Deadpool, X-Men and the Fantastic Four to incorporate into the MCU. Not to mention a lot of fresh, lesser-known characters from the comics, too. As such, Feige’s going to need four films a year just to get through it all.