10 Ways The Marvel Studios And Disney Release Date Calendar Has Changed Due To The COVID-19 Pandemic

10 Ways The Marvel Studios And Disney Release Date Calendar Has Changed Due To The COVID-19 Pandemic

On Friday, Disney and Marvel Studios announced a huge shake-up to their respective release date calendars, and we're now taking a closer look at the biggest changes which have been made as a result...

Late last week, Disney finally accepted the inevitable and made some seismic shifts to its release calendar. As well as being forced to postpone big budget blockbusters like Mulan and The Jungle Cruise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was also hit with some major delays. 

Now, thanks to COVID-19, the summer blockbuster season has essentially been cancelled, and that's had ramifications which have affected both next year and 2022 (really!). 

In this feature, we're breaking down the biggest ways the Disney and Marvel Studios release date schedules have completely changed thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, looking at those changes as well as what they mean for the future. We also delve into the Disney+ TV shows, and the movies which either have no release in sight or are skipping theaters altogether. 

To check out this breakdown, all you guys need to do is click on the "Next" button down below!

10. Indiana Jones 5 Is Yet Another Year Away


While Logan director James Mangold reportedly remains in talks to take the helm of the next Indiana Jones movie, it's getting harder and harder to believe it's going to ever happen. 

Disney has had ample opportunities to make good use of the property since acquiring Lucasfilm, but now the release date has been changed from July 9th, 2021 to July 29th, 2022, the movie will be arriving in theaters just a couple of weeks after Harrison Ford's 80th birthday. 

That's not the Indiana Jones fans remember, and it honestly feels like a full-on reboot would be a better option than a sequel at this point, especially now we're forced to wait another year.

9. An Optimistic Release Date For Mulan


Mulan has now been moved to July 24th, 2020, and that seems very optimistic on Disney's part. Even if theaters are somehow back open by then (it seems doubtful), moviegoers are going to be reluctant to head back to them that soon, and that surely means the odds are stacked against the live-action version of the animated classic being a box office hit. 

At this point, it wouldn't be overly surprising for Mulan to be hit with another delay, and that begs the question of why Disney would decide to schedule it for as soon as July. 

There's no way a movie like this is heading to Disney+, and so it could easily slip into 2021 at this point. For now, though, Mulan could be the blockbuster that restarts the summer.

8. Black Panther 2 Is Coming As Planned


Despite all the bad news about Phase 4 being delayed (we'll get to that a little later), there was one film which wasn't hit by a delay. As of right now, Ryan Coogler's Black Panther 2 is still set to be released in theaters on its original release date - which was announced at D23 - of May 8th, 2022.

Very little is known about the sequel, but Coogler remains hard at work on the screenplay, and rumours continue to persist about Michael B. Jordan reprising the role of Erik Killmonger. 

The only cast members we do 100% know will return, though, are Chadwick Boseman (T'Challa) and Danai Gurira (Okoye), so it will probably be a while before any solid plot details find their way online. Regardless, it's no great surprise that Marvel Studios is sticking with that prime summer release date.

7. Artemis Fowl Is No Longer Coming To Theaters


When Disney shook up its release calendar on Friday, a press release was sent out confirming that Artemis Fowl will now be skipping its theatrical debut and heading straight to Disney+ instead.

"Director Kenneth Branagh and his spectacular cast take viewers right into the vibrant, fantasy world of the beloved book, which fans have been waiting to see brought to life onscreen for years," Disney+ Content President Ricky Strauss said in a statement. "It’s great family entertainment that is the perfect addition to Disney+’s summer lineup."

A release date hasn't been announced as of yet, but some time in May seems likely. With so much negativity surrounding the movie, though (fans of the books really aren't impressed by those trailers), it's not like Artemis Fowl was ever going to make a huge impact at the box office.

6. Captain Marvel 2 Has A Release Date


Before we get to the bad news, we thankfully have more good news for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Captain Marvel sequel has taken the slot previously held by an Untitled Marvel movie on July 29th, 2022, but has been brought forward slightly to July 8th, 2022. 

It's possible Captain Marvel 2 was going to originally arrive on February 18th, 2022, but that slot has been given to Thor: Love and Thunder, so there's still a chance it was delayed. 

We may never know, but however you look at it, 2022 has lost a mystery Marvel movie due to the changes that have been made to Phase 4. On the plus side, more Carol Danvers is no bad thing, especially if those rumblings about a Secret Invasion adaptation are accurate. 

5. Soul Remains Unmoved


This is a weird one. Despite changing its entire release schedule, Disney has not delayed Soul. The Pixar movie is scheduled to arrive in theaters on June 19th, and with it looking unlikely that even Mulan will be released as planned in late July, we're finding it hard to imagine how Soul will still come out as planned when theaters will almost certainly be closed. 

Onward's box office performance wasn't quite as high as expected, and Soul looks good...but also kind of weird! In other words, it doesn't exactly appear to have much mass market appeal. 

With that in mind, the reason we've not heard about a delay could be because it's going to arrive on Disney+ instead, and with the Marvel and Star Wars TV shows unlikely to arrive later this year as planned unless things change soon, this could be a smart move for the streaming service.

4. The New Mutants Remains Undated


The New Mutants has already been delayed more times than we can count, so it wasn't exactly the biggest surprise when it failed to debut in theaters this past Friday (in all fairness, that was never going to be possible given current world events). Now, it's back to being undated. 

It's not the only Twentieth Century Studios film to fall into that category, though, as The Personal History of David Copperfield, Antlers, and Woman in the Window are also stuck in limbo.

In the case of The New Mutants, it probably can't head straight to Disney+ due to an existing deal Fox had with HBO until 2022, so a VOD release seems most likely in the not too distant future.

3. A Big Phase 4 Release Date Shuffle


Hold on to your hats, because Phase 4 has undergone some big changes! After being postponed by Marvel Studios, Black Widow is now coming our way on November 6th, 2020.

That pushes Eternals to February 12th, 2021, the release date that previously belonged to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. That now moves to May 7th, 2021, forcing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to November 5th, 2021. The Doctor Strange sequel, meanwhile, has pushed Thor: Love and Thunder to February 18th, 2022. 

As we mentioned, that was a slot previously reserved for an untitled Marvel Studios movie. There's currently no word from Sony Pictures on what's happening with Spider-Man 3, though.

2. The Jungle Cruise's Year-Long Delay


Starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, The Jungle Cruise (based on the classic Disney theme park ride of the same name) was shaping up to be one of 2020's biggest blockbusters. 

Unfortunately, Mulan's delay means that it's now been forced to move to July 30th, 2021. It seems that Disney's thinking was that they're going to need big movies next year, especially with many of those supposed to be coming our way then potentially unable to start filming as planned.

In other release date news, Free Guy has slid from July 3rd, 2020 to December 11th, 2020. 

1. There's No Word On Marvel's Disney+ TV Shows


Unfortunately, even though Disney has now made its theatrical plans clear, we've heard nothing about what the studio has planned for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, The Mandalorian, and WandaVision. All three shows were meant to be released on Disney+ later this year, but they've inevitably been put on hold as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If things change soon, then there's a chance they'll start streaming later this year (with only slight delays), but we can't bank on that right now, and it's hard to escape the feeling that bad news is coming.

For the time being, Disney no doubt wants to hold off on making any sort of rash decisions, but if these lockdowns and shutdowns remain in place for the foreseeable future, hard decisions will need to be made...that could be disastrous for subscriber numbers, however! 

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