5 Things You Need To Know About The Updated Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 Slate

Marvel Studios recently made some major changes to its Phase 4 slate, and we've now taken a much closer look to bring you 5 key facts about the latest plans for the Marvel Cinematic Universe...

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Hours before the Eternals world premiere, Disney and Marvel Studios made a series of changes to its Phase 4 slate. Every upcoming film has been delayed, and the entire landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has suffered the consequences, as a result. 

It's possible Kevin Feige and company was hoping the glitzy Eternals red carpet would distract from this disappointing news, but it's all fans have been able to talk about in the days that followed.

With that in mind, we've broken down the biggest changes to bring you an in-depth guide to what all this means for the MCU and the studio's exciting Phase 4 slate. Whether it's the films removed from the calendar, what those different slots mean for the titles that hold them, or a big Marvel vs. DC clash that's now been avoided, we have you covered. 

Big changes are coming to the MCU in Phase 4 as you'll soon see...

5. You Win Some, You Lose Some

We're by no means finished with 2021 yet (Eternals and Hawkeye are both on the horizon), and looking ahead to 2023, there have been some big changes to Marvel Studios' plans. 

Kang the Conqueror's hotly-anticipated return is heading our way later than expected after Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania slipped from February 17 that year to a prime summer slot in July 28. That month is where Scott Lang and company have previously called home, so this feels like a smart move on Disney's part. 

However, the studio has yanked two "Untitled Marvel" films from the schedule, so those mystery titles are no longer heading our way on July 28 and October 6. On the plus side, one of them is still coming on November 3. Deadpool 3? Blade? That remains to be seen until official announcements are made.

4. The Marvels Move To 2023

The Marvels will bring together Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Spectrum, but it's been moved from November 11, 2022 to that February 17 date once held by the Ant-Man and The Wasp sequel.

The Ms. Marvel TV series was expected to be released later this year, but recent reports have indicated it might slip into next summer. Now, there's a decent gap between that and Kamala Khan's return. As a result, casual fans will have the opportunity to catch up on her introduction before what promises to be an epic team up for the three female superHERoes. 

The Marvels is the only film to move into a different year, but it is only a difference of a few months! It's also worth noting that Captain Marvel became a $1 billion blockbuster in February 2019.

3. Doctor Strange Will No Longer Face The Batman

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was originally set to open on March 25, 2022, mere weeks after The Batman. While the Caped Crusader's latest reboot would earn most of its box office haul in those first couple of weekends, there's no getting around the fact that the DC adaptation would hurt the Doctor Strange sequel.

If the film is extremely critically acclaimed, then it's likely to exceed expectations from a financial standpoint, and COVID has seen blockbusters earn money over much longer periods of time.

It was wise of Marvel Studios to push this crucial part of the Phase 4 slate back by six weeks, and May 6 really can't get here soon enough. That was Thor: Love and Thunder's original release date, but it'll instead blast into theaters on July 8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, meanwhile, shifts from July 29 to November 11. 

2. What About 2024?

We currently have only one 2024 film booked in from Marvel Studios and that's heading our way on February 16 of that year. What will it be? Honestly, the possibilities are endless, with Blade and Deadpool 3 two very likely possibilities (Deadpool opened to huge numbers around that time in 2016).

Interestingly, a recent rumour suggested that Fantastic Four and Nova are both expected to begin production on 2023, and that leaves the door wide open to both films debuting in 2024.

Just think about it: it makes perfect sense for Fantastic Four to hit theaters in 2024 (think of the marketing campaign). In all of this, there's no mention of another Spider-Man film, though that is Sony Pictures responsibility. Jon Watts is moving on to Marvel's First Family, so we have no doubt the studio has something planned for the web-slinger in 2023 or 2024. 

1. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Hasn't Been Delayed

There was no mention of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in the big release date delay news, but James Gunn has confirmed that it will arrive as planned on May 5, 2023. 

Shooting begins imminently, and Gunn has revealed that he's started casting actors (including Will Poulter as Adam Warlock) in at least a dozen different roles. Chris Pratt recently shared his Star-Lord look on social media, though we'd later learn that's for the Disney World theme park ride, "Cosmic Rewind." Footage for that and the Christmas special will be shot simultaneously. 

We should have already watched the threequel by now, but Gunn's brief spat with Disney, his time in the DCEU helming The Suicide Squad, and COVID have all slowed things down. We can't wait for more to be revealed, but don't bank on getting a first look anytime soon, folks. 

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