As the severity of the coronavirus became clear and nations effectively began shutting down their economies, film studios found themselves in the unprecedented situation of having to postpone major releases, at the cost of millions of dollars. Movies initially in the firing line included Marvel’s Phase Four opener Black Widow and No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s last as James Bond.
But it’s not just spring releases that have been affected. With production cycles severely disrupted by the shutdown, films that had been due to hit cinemas next year are now getting shuffled back, as studios try to adjust to current realties. Marvel have been particularly hit hard by the crisis, with a staggering 7 projects being delayed as a result.
That production backlog could see an unusual MCU record matched, too. Thor: Love and Thunder and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – each delayed until 2022 – are now set to release just 6 weeks apart from each other. That’s a gap that would equal the 6 weeks between the release of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk as the shortest in the franchise.
There’s a good reason it hasn’t been matched previously, too, as over-saturating the market with superhero movies would harm the box office prospects of both films. That gap wasn’t the only reason for Hulk’s disappointing financials, but it wouldn’t have helped them. With so much pressure on the studio to get these projects out, creative scheduling like this will be essential.
If you’ve got any thoughts on this curious piece of Marvel trivia, do drop a comment below. Even with the decreased cooldown between Thor: Love and Thunder and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, I imagine their brand power will see audiences coming to watch all the same. And given how long we’ll have waited for them, I imagine the hype will, too.