Earlier this year, Marvel Studios was forced to reshuffle the lineup of its “Phase 4” films due to delays caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The reshuffling left the long-awaited Black Widow solo film as Marvel’s only release in 2020, delayed to a November release rather than its original planned debut date of spring. 2021 primarily consisted of two films featuring brand new characters – Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – with the highly anticipated Thor, Captain Marvel, Black Panther and Dr. Strange sequels all pushed to 2022.
However, with the pandemic still ongoing several months later, Marvel was forced to take another look at its film schedule. After much consideration, the company has decided to delay three of the planned Phase 4 films, including a second delay for Black Widow which pushes the film’s release date into 2021 and leaves 2020 as the first year in over a decade in which no Marvel movies have been released.
Black Widow has now taken over Shang-Chi’s original release date of May 7, 2021. As a result, Shang-Chi has been pushed to a summer release, with a new date of July 9, 2021. Finally, Eternals has also been delayed, and will now release on November 5, 2021. Currently, a fourth film – the as of yet untitled sequel to Spider-Man: Far From Home – will round out 2021 with a December release. However, it is possible that this film will also be delayed due to the extremely short window following the debut of Eternals.
None of the sequels scheduled for 2022 – Thor: Love and Thunder, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Black Panther 2 and Captain Marvel 2 – have been delayed any further as of yet. However, a delay for any of these Phase 4 films is still possible depending on COVID-19-related developments over the next few months. A delay for Black Panther 2 is particularly likely given the recent passing of actor Chadwick Boseman, who starred in previous Marvel films as the titular prince and superhero.