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Marvel boss Kevin Feige explains surprise Phase 4 movie delays

Published Oct 19th, 2021 12:43PM EDT

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shocked fans on the day it hosted the official Eternals premiere with bad news about upcoming MCU releases. Disney pushed back the release dates for several Marvel movies, starting with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The sequel to Doctor Strange is one of the most hotly anticipated MCU Phase 4 titles. But the film will now premiere on May 6th, 2022, instead of March 25th. Several other Marvel movies were delayed as well.

As expected, Marvel boss Kevin Feige had to field questions about the release delays during the Eternals red carpet premiere.

The man who is mainly responsible for the massive MCU success talked to Variety before the premiere. “It’s production shifts and changes, and because we have so many slots, we can just shift slots,” Feige said during the interview. “All the Marvel slots are the same. We’re just shifting when they’re coming out. And yes, [Doctor Strange 2] has moved six weeks, so instead of there being three months between Marvel movies, there will be five months between Marvel movies, and I think we can all handle that.”

That’s not entirely true, however. Disney and Marvel have plenty of movie slots set for the coming year. And this isn’t the first time that Disney had to shift things around. We went a full year in 2020 without any new MCU content as theaters closed and production paused. And it’s only a few months ago that the industry was contemplating another round of delays on account of a resurgence in coronavirus infections.

Marvel movies delayed

But Disney didn’t just shift some of the planned productions to later dates. It also canceled a few of those release dates, as we’ve already explained. The studio removed at least two Untitled Marvel movie projects from the schedule. We have no ideas what those movies were, but the removal means Marvel probably pushed back those release dates to 2024, at the soonest. The original dates were July 28th, 2023, and October 6th, 2023. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania now sits in the July 28th release date.

Feige’s comments seem to confirm other reports that preceded the Eternals premiere. Marvel isn’t considering a new distribution strategy for its movie, like sending the films to Disney Plus day-and-date. It’s all about production challenges.

It’s worth remembering that the MCU is hurt the most when movie delays happen. That’s because the films and series are interconnected. As a result, pushing back one project will directly impact other releases.

It’s unclear whether the fact that Marvel movies were delayed will impact the MCU shows hitting Disney Plus. For example, Ms. Marvel, which should have hit the streaming service in late 2021, is now rumored to premiere in June or July 2022. Hopefully, Feige will clear the air next month during the Disney Plus Day event.

While it’ll be annoying to wait for almost six months after No Way Home for the Doctor Strange 2 premiere, you can always catch up with the MCU by watching all the Marvel movies in order. The more courageous among you can also check out the many Multiverse of Madness spoilers that leaked recently, including the entire plot.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.