Marvel Studios has been forced to delay a number of its announced movies – and it’s all down to its Blade movie reboot.
Revealed as part of a Walt Disney Studios press release, Marvel has pushed back some of its superhero movies from their previously announced launch dates. Among that number is Blade, which has been plagued by numerous development issues in recent weeks. This includes 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 that it will arrive on September 6, 2024 instead. According to the Hollywood Reporter (opens in a new tab), this change in release date, as well as the problems of the Marvel Phase 5 film, mean that it will not begin filming until the beginning of 2023. According to Marvel, this decision will allow it to readjust the scenario of the film from the anti -vampiric hero and conduct a thorough analysis. look for Tariq’s replacement. Movie Slash (opens in a new tab) also reports that Ali is still “fully on board” with the project despite his issues.
Blade’s delayed launch then impacted another Marvel Phase 5 release. Deadpool 3, which wasn’t announced until late September, was pushed back to November 2024. Merc with a Mouth’s MCU debut was originally planned. for September 2024 – the date that Blade occupies now.
Deadpool’s third movie isn’t the only movie to be affected by Blade’s delay. Marvel’s entire Phase 6 movie slate has also been delayed, with Fantastic Four and Avengers 6 pushed back to 2025 and 2026. Avengers 5 retains its May 2, 2025 slot.
Here’s a quick look at when these films will now hit theaters:
- Blade – moved from November 3, 2023 to September 6, 2024
- Dead Pool 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 number of release date slots for currently untitled MCU movies. Besides Fantastic Four and Avengers 5, two other Marvel movies will apparently debut in 2025, while three more will land in cinemas in 2026 alongside Avengers 6.
It’s unclear which films will fill those 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 – will fill one of those positions. Other contenders include Shang-Chi 2, a sequel to Eternals, Doctor Strange 3, and a fifth solo outing for Thor.
Luckily, all of the Marvel movies before Blade in Phase 5 will still play in their original theater locations. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantuamania, Guardians 3, The Marvels, Captain America 4, and Thunderbolts will all launch between November 2022 and July 2024.
Analysis: a welcome universal change
While it’s a little disappointing that some of these highly anticipated films have been delayed, it’s actually the right decision to make.
Marvel Studios’ slate of releases has seemed unrealistic for months now, especially following Phase 5 and 6 movie and TV announcements made at Comic-Con 2022 and D23 Expo 2022. Even with the launches of With Blade and Deadpool 3 shunted, there are nearly 20 projects coming in Phase 5 alone, including 10 live-action and animated series on Disney Plus. It’s a plot of content to be packaged over the next couple of years – and consumed by audiences at the same time.
From a cinematic perspective, releasing 11 MCU movies between February 2023 and November 2025 was always going to be a difficult task as well. By delaying Blade, Marvel has been forced to push back some of its other theatrical releases, which is the right decision. It seemed too good to be true that we’d be getting two Avengers movies in 2025 after six years – at that point – without one. They’re huge tentpole movies, so extending the space between their launch dates will give them (and other upcoming MCU movies) plenty of breathing room.
Additionally, revamping its release schedule will hopefully give Marvel the ability to produce some, if not all, of these movies and shows without long slumps. As the fallout from the post-production phase of She-Hulk showed, the Disney subsidiary needs to do more when it comes to the well-being of first- and third-party employees. This means less stress and more time to craft those projects with the care and attention they deserve. Fingers crossed Marvel is using the extra time given to it to make sure that’s the case.
For more MCU-based content, find out how to watch the Marvel movies in order. Otherwise, read up on the last two Marvel Phase 4 projects slated for release before the end of 2022, or find out all about Werewolf by Night’s Man-Thing.