Marvel Studios has been forced to delay several of its announced movies – and it all comes down to the Blade movie reboot.
Revealed as part of a press release from Walt Disney Studios, Marvel has pushed back some of its superhero movies from their previously announced release dates. Among that number is Blade, which has been hit by a number of development issues in recent weeks. These include the departure of director Bassam Tariq, the hiring of Beau DeMayo (The Witcher, Moon Knight) to rewrite the entire script, and lead actor Mahershala Ali’s frustration with the film’s production delays.
As a result, Blade will no longer be released in November 2023, with Marvel confirming it will arrive on September 6, 2024. By The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab)this change in release date, in addition to the issues with Marvel’s Phase 5 movie, means it won’t start filming until early 2023. The change, according to Marvel, will allow it to readjust the script for the anti-hero film. and conduct an in-depth analysis to look for Tariq’s replacement. bar film (opens in new tab) also reports that Ali is still “completely in agreement” with the project, despite its problems.
Blade’s delayed release later impacted another Marvel Phase 5 release. Deadpool 3, which was only announced in late September, has been pushed back to November 2024. Merc with a Mouth’s MCU debut was originally set for September 2024 – the date Blade now occupies.
The third Deadpool movie isn’t the only one to be affected by Blade’s delay. The entire Marvel Phase 6 movie slate has also been delayed, with Fantastic Four and Avengers 6 delayed until 2025 and 2026. Avengers 5 retains its May 2, 2025 slot.
Here’s a quick rundown of when these movies will hit theaters:
- Blade – moved from November 3, 2023 to September 6, 2024
- deadpool 3 – moved from September 6, 2024 to November 8, 2024
- the fantastic four – moved from November 8, 2024 to February 14, 2025
- Avengers: Secret Wars – moved from November 7, 2025 to May 1, 2026
Marvel also revealed a series of release dates for currently untitled MCU movies. In addition to Fantastic Four and Avengers 5, two other Marvel movies will apparently debut in 2025, while another three will hit theaters in 2026 alongside Avengers 6.
There is no information on which movies will have these slots. However, it’s likely that Armor Wars – the Don Cheadle-starring project that was originally a Disney Plus show but was made into a movie – fills one of those positions. Other contenders include Shang-Chi 2, an Eternals sequel, Doctor Strange 3, and a fifth Thor solo release.
Thankfully, all Marvel movies prior to Blade in Phase 5 will still release in their original theatrical slots. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantuamania, Guardians 3, The Marvels, Captain America 4 and Thunderbolts will be released between November 2022 and July 2024.
Analysis: A welcome universal change
While it’s a little disappointing that some of these highly anticipated movies have been delayed, it’s actually the right move to make.
Marvel Studios’ list of releases has been looking unrealistic for months now, particularly after the Phase 5 and 6 movie and TV show announcements made at Comic-Con 2022 and D23 Expo 2022. Even with the Blade and Deadpool 3 releases being sidetracked, there are nearly 20 projects coming to Phase 5 alone, including 10 live-action and animated series on Disney Plus. that is a much of content to package in the next two years – and for the public to consume at the same time.
From a cinema perspective, releasing 11 MCU movies between February 2023 and November 2025 would also always be a tall order. By delaying Blade, Marvel has been forced to delay some of its other theatrical releases, which is the right move. It sounded too good to be true that we would have two Avengers movies in 2025 after six years – at that point – without one. These are big sustaining movies, so extending the space between release dates will allow them (and other upcoming MCU movies) to need a lot of breathing room.
Also, revamping its release schedule will give Marvel the chance to produce some, if not all, of these movies and shows without long periods of slump. As the aftermath of She-Hulk’s post-production phase has shown, the Disney subsidiary needs to do more when it comes to the well-being of first-time and third-party employees. This means a less stressful crisis and more time to craft these projects with the care and attention they deserve. Fingers crossed Marvel uses the extra time given her to make sure this is the case.
For more MCU-based content, check out how to watch Marvel movies in order. Alternatively, read up on the last two Marvel Phase 4 projects slated for release before the end of 2022, or find out all to do with Werewolf by Night’s Man-Thing.