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Black Widow, Eternals, rest of the MCU get new dates as Disney rewrites release calendar
Fans looking forward to Marvel's Phase 4 will need to hang on 4 a little while longer. Remember when Black Widow's coronavirus-driven delay wasn't going to impact the Marvel Cinematic Universe at large? Turns out, that's because the entire upcoming slate of Marvel's massive money-making machine is shifting thanks to a complete reshuffle of Disney's theatrical release calendar. Nothing's been canned and nothing's out of order — but fans will certainly have to wait longer than expected for the next series of blockbusters from the MCU.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, all the superheroes on the Marvel slate look like they'll be scooting one chair down on the pandemic's lousy game of musical chairs. Black Widow is moving down to Nov. 6, where Eternals used to be. Eternals moves to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' old date of Feb. 12, 2021, which itself moves to May 7, 2021. The process repeats for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which pushes out Thor: Love And Thunder from Nov. 5, 2021.
New Thor is where the dominoes stop falling, resting on Feb. 28, 2022. Black Panther 2 managed to stay stable at May 8, 2022, and the sequel to Captain Marvel 2 has been hurried up to July 8, 2022. Basically, if fans had an MCU calendar set already, just scootch every title down the list one spot.
One other question not yet answered is how all these shake-ups might affect the MCU-connected shows coming to Disney+, such as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, and all those others in various phases of development. Those shows were touted as tying directly into the film side, but no word on how those streaming release dates might also shift to make sure the stories will still match up.
As for the rest of the Disney-verse, Mulan finally landed a new date at July 24, while Ryan Reynolds' video game vehicle Free Guy falls to Dec. 11 and the Rock and Emily Blunt's Jungle Cruise will be on cruise control for the next year until its new date on July 30, 2021. Even Indiana Jones' fifth film was affected in its early stages, moving back a year to July 29, 2022. However, none of these films will be going straight to VOD as Disney doubles down on the theatrical model that gave it an overwhelming percentage of the box office last year.
The same cannot be said for Artemis Fowl, which is shifting from a planned theatrical release to a Disney+ exclusive later in the summer.
One notable absence in all this reshuffling is leftover Fox/X-Men film The New Mutants, which was supposed to hit theaters a couple of years ago (seriously), and has been delayed once again due to the pandemic. The film was nowhere to be seen on the updated release schedule. So... maybe it really is cursed?