The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has had a massive effect on the movie business, with countless projects having to shift their release dates by up to a year due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the immediate future of theaters around the world. This is being keenly felt by fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who were devastated by the news that the entirety of the studio’s Phase Four plans were being delayed.
Since then, even more changes have been announced, leading to the longest gap between MCU movies in a decade. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has taken a particularly big hit, with the new March 2022 date marking the biggest wait in the franchise’s history, coming over five and a half years since the first installment was released in November 2016.
While the long-running series has now settled on a release schedule up until early 2022, they still have five dates staked out between October 2022 and November 2023, but haven’t yet announced what those projects will be. The smart money is on two of those slots being occupied by Ant-Man 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but beyond that, Kevin Feige has been playing his cards very close to his chest regarding the MCU’s future output.
Mahershala Ali’s Blade seems like a likely candidate having been in the works since last summer, but Ryan Reynolds recently hinted that we could be a long way away from Deadpool 3. Meanwhile, it seems far too soon for either the Avengers, X-Men or Fantastic Four. Of course, we’ve been getting new Spider-Man movies every two years, so a fourth adventure for Tom Holland’s web-slinger isn’t entirely out of the question. Or, it could be something that we haven’t ever seen before.
The Young Avengers are frequently rumored to be on the way as well, but it could also be something else entirely that we haven’t even considered as a possibility. Then again, each Phase of the MCU has lasted between two and four years, so the July or November date in 2023 could end up being the next big crossover event that brings Phase Four to a close and sets up the next batch of superheroes to enter the fray. At this point, only time will tell. But regardless, it’s clear that there’s much for fans to look forward to in the years to come.