In their attempt to continue their unprecedented domination of the box office, Marvel Studios are intent on expanding their cinematic universe further than ever before. Not content with developing a huge slate of small screen projects for the recently-launched Disney Plus, the MCU is set to become an even more regular fixture on the big screen as well.
Marvel have slowly been increasing their release strategy in recent years, with 2017 marking the first time that three MCU blockbusters hit theaters in the same year, with the trend continuing ever since then. 2021, meanwhile, will mark the first time that four of Kevin Feige’s guaranteed smash-hits arrive in the same twelve months thanks to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder and the as-yet-untitled third solo outing for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.
And as if that wasn’t exciting enough, the studio staked out five new release dates for their upcoming projects today that lock in four MCU movies for both 2022 and 2023, with October 7th now joining February 18th, May 6th and July 29th as the 2022 spots. As for the 2023 dates, they’re as follows:
- February 17th, 2023
- May 5th, 2023
- July 28th, 2023
- November 3rd, 2023
As for what these movies could be, a quick glance at the titles in active development give us a pretty good idea about some of them. Captain Marvel 2, Ant-Man 3, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Blade all seem like virtual guarantees, while the R-rated Joker recently crossed the billion-dollar mark following an October release, which could be an indicator that Deadpool 3 is finally on the horizon.
As for the rest? It seems far too early for either the Fantastic Four or the X-Men given the relatively short time-frame, so perhaps in his new role as Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige plans to give audiences something that they’ve never seen before. With the schedule upping to four movies a year though, the MCU faces a bigger challenge than ever before to remain fresh and avoid audience burnout.