|THOR: LOVE AND THUNDERLOVE AND THUNDERTAIKA WAITITIMCU|
What happens when an unstoppable pandemic meets an unmovable movie franchise? Well, first that unmovable movie franchise promptly moves. And then Disney sets new dates for the next slate of films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, working under the assumption that time is on their side.
Several weeks after Marvel Studios’ Black Widow was delayed due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the powerhouse studio has shuffled its slate. The first solo adventure starring Scarlett Johansson’s super-spy will now open later this year, triggering a domino effect that sees the entire new phase of movies, including The Eternals, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Captain Marvel 2 shuffled around the schedule.
Here’s how it breaks down:Black Widow, originally set to open next month, will now open on November 6, 2020, the release date originally set for The Eternals. The Eternals, originally set for November of this year, will now open on February 12, 2021. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings, which was originally in the spot now claimed by The Eternals, will now open on May 7, 2021. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sees one of the biggest delays, moving from its May 2021 release date to November 5, 2021. Thor: Love and Thunder, pushed aside by Doctor Strange, will now open on February 18, 2022. Black Panther is still set for May 8, 2022. Captain Marvel 2 will follow on July 8, 2022.
The pattern is pretty clear. For the most part, the Marvel schedule has essentially shifted one already-held release date over, with one movie displacing another until they all have new homes. Of course, all of this is contingent on the world and the economy being somewhat back to normal by the holiday season. At the very least, new Marvel movies gives us something to look forward to and a reminder that we only get to see these films if we stay inside and practice social-distancing to flatten the curve. Don’t be a jerk, folks.
What we don’t know is if the release dates for the Disney+ shows The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision and Loki will be affected as well. We’ll cross our fingers and hope for the best – new superhero shows to stream will sound pretty damn good in a few months.
Taika Waititi’s inbox must look like a disaster following his screenwriting Oscar last month. He’s unquestionably one of the most in-demand names in Hollywood these days, and not only is he prepping for Thor: Love and Thunder, possibly building Star Wars ties beyond his The Mandalorian role, and starring as a suicidal cult leader, he’s also managing to hug an Avenger during his down time. Now, Netflix has announced that Waititi will direct and write two shows based upon Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The wording of the associated announcements is a little strange, though. Hollywood Reporter emphasizes that these will be “animated event series,” and that wording doesn’t spring from nowhere. Back in November, Netflix declared on Twitter that multiple animated event series based upon Roald Dahl’s works were in development for their platform. Those projects would also include series inspired by Matlida and The BFG, to “be reimagined for a new generation.” What does “event series” mean, though? Marketing folks like to use that term to describe short-run series that are widely marketed and possibly spinoffs of larger series to draw huge audiences during specific time periods like sweeps. The term has also been tossed around to describe those rare juggernaut series that everyone watches weekly, and live, as they happen. Like The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, and to a degree, arguably Watchmen.
How does Netflix plan to event-ize animated series from Taika Waititi? Would this show surface on a weekly basis, rather than through bingeable seasons? This seems like an unlikely programming strategy, but one never knows. Regardless, the details on the second, Oompa-Loompa-focused series do sound intriguing:
The first series will be based on the world and characters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, while the second is described as a wholly original take on the Oompa-Loompas, the small song-loving humans who worked in Willy Wonka’s infamous factory.
So, Taiki Waititi is the new king of weird, officially, taking over after Tim Burton last handled the franchise? This checks out.
Via Hollywood Reporter
Marvel Studios has announced the new Black Widow release date. The highly anticipated Natasha Romanoff standalone movie will be released on November 6th. This was the release date for the Eternals movie, which has now been pushed back, along with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 projects. There was speculation that Disney and Marvel Studios were toying with the idea of releasing Black Widow and Mulan digitally, in an effort to skip theaters, but that is obviously not going to happen at this point in time.
The Eternals movie has been pushed to February 12th, 2021, while Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will now open May 7th, 2021. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which was probably going to get pushed back anyway, will now open on November 5th, 2021 and Thor: Love and Thunder has moved to February 18th, 2022. Looking ahead to the MCU's Phase 5, Black Panther 2 will still debut May 6th, 2022, while Captain Marvel 2, which previously did not have a firm release date, has been set for July 8th, 2022.
At this time, it is unclear when movie theaters are going to be able to open their doors again. Some have predicted that sometime in June is likely, though it is not guaranteed. AMC might not even open their doors again after their latest credit rating was revealed. With that being said, Marvel Studios made a wise decision in pushing everything back on their calendar. Black Widow could have come out in the late summer or early fall, but there's really no predicting what the entertainment business will look like at that time. Pushing things further may bum out fans, but there was really no avoiding this situation.
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige announced the MCU Phase 4 titles at last year's San Diego Comic-Con and received an enthusiastic response from the world. In addition to the big screen titles, Feige also spoke about all of the Disney+ TV shows that are on the way too. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision were the first to go into production, but it's unclear if they will meet their release dates now that production has been halted. It is believed that they were mostly complete, but there has not been an official announcement as of this writing.
MCU fans are going to have to wait a bit longer to see some of their favorite superheroes on the big screen. This could end up being excellent news for last-minute story revisions and other things that may need to get changed, meaning we'll get a better movie when the dust settles. Hopefully the world's current situation will pass in the near future so that people can get back to some kind of normalcy. Variety was the first to announce the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 news.