There are currently three MCU movies with release dates this year: Doctor Strange 2, Thor 4, and Black Panther 2. That was the pace of Marvel releases before Phase 4 arrived and before the pandemic hit. The health crisis forced Marvel to postpone release dates and pause productions as the world was coping with the virus.
As a result, we ended with no MCU premieres in 2020. And that’s why 2021 was so busy for the MCU, with Marvel releasing four movies and five TV shows last year. But Marvel also had to delay its films again due to production issues. Multiverse of Madness, for example, is now set to premiere in early May rather than late March.
In turn, this pushed the entire MCU Phase 4 movie slate back. And we might see additional delays in the future, with Black Panther 2 being a prime candidate.
The current schedule
As it is right now, we have the following release dates for this year’s three MCU movies:
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: May 6th, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder: July 8th, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: November 11th, 2022
Doctor Strange 2 had to be delayed, as Marvel planned extensive reshoots for the movie. Rumors last fall suggested that Marvel wanted to tweak the storyline and add more cameos. The studio planned several weeks of additional shooting for the sequel, with the Multiverse of Madness team working through Christmas 2021. The movie will now premiere in early May.
As for Love and Thunder, we don’t foresee any delays. If anything, Marvel had to push back the other Phase 4 films because of Multiverse of Madness. This is a pivotal decision for the MCU that will impact everything else.
However, things are more complicated when it comes to the Black Panther 2 release date.
Why Black Panther 2 release date might be delayed
Marvel has been shooting the sequel for quite a while now, but it also had to pause work on the movie. Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri, had to recover after an on-set injury. So Marvel paused production back in early November.
Then, in mid-January, some cast and crew members tested positive for COVID-19. The production took yet another pause.
All of that will put immense pressure on Marvel. After all, Black Panther 2 needs to be a success. The Black Panther origin story turned out to be a huge hit for Marvel. But Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman passed away unexpectedly in the summer of 2019.
This forced Marvel to rethink its plan for the character, and Wakanda Forever will have to introduce a new Black Panther.
Marvel has yet to announce any release date changes for the upcoming Phase 4 movies, so there’s no reason to worry about Black Panther 2 for now. In case delays are in order for the sequel, Marvel might swap two movie releases to ensure it has time to finish Wakanda Forever. That’s according to a Marvel insider who speculates that Black Panther 2 and The Marvels might trade places.
The latter has a February 17th, 2023, release date. And Marvel has already finished shooting it, according to a recent social media post from Brie Larson. Again, this is just speculation, and the leaker makes it clear they have no inside information on the release date switch for Black Panther 2 and Captain Marvel 2:
With Multiverse of Madness fast approaching, we’re bound to get the first Love and Thunder teaser trailer soon. And the closer we get to summer, the clearer Marvel’s plans will be. Should Marvel postpone Black Panther 2‘s release date, we should learn about it months ahead of time.