Disney+ Announces Marvel Studios’ Surprise Final Release of 2022

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Disney+ logo, Marvel Studios movies and show thumbnails in background

Marvel Studios wrapped up the MCU's Phase 4 by capping off the slate with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, but it seems that one more surprise non-narrative entry is set to be released on Disney+ before 2022 ends. 

2022 was a big year for the MCU. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness kicked off the summer movie slate, followed by Chris Hemsworth's return as the titular Avenger in Thor: Love and Thunder

Wakanda Forever ended Phase 4's big screen slate by honoring the late Chadwick Boseman while introducing Shuri as the new Black Panther. Disney+ also introduced a trio of new MCU heroes with Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk

To cap it all off, Werewolf by Night and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special were highly praised as Marvel Studios' first foray into Special Presentations. Although Marvel will reportedly slow their output for 2023 and beyond, it appears that Marvel Studios' run in 2022 might not be over quite yet.

What is Marvel's Final 2022 Disney+ Release?

Marvel Studios Assembled

As per Disney+ Hotstar's latest announcement, a new episode of Marvel Studios Assembled is set to release on the streaming service on Wednesday, December 28: 

Marvel Studios
Disney+ Hotstar

This upcoming installment of Assembled would make it Marvel Studios' last release of the year. This announcement comes as a surprise, given that it wasn't included on Disney+'s originally announced December slate

This Assembled episode could be dedicated to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, marking the first time that such an installment would be released even before its respective film's premiere on Disney+. The Black Panther sequel currently isn't expected to release on the platform until early 2023.

On the flip side, the latest Assembled episode could revolve around The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. However, hiding potentially spoiler-heavy tidbits will be challenging since filming for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 also happened in tandem with the Holiday Special

Which MCU Project Will Wrap Up 2022?

Based on this new information, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the most likely project to receive the Assembled treatment. Perhaps fans could learn a bit more about elements left on the cutting room floor, like the diminished plot point of the United States interfering with Wakanda's conflict with Talokan.

Although releasing the special before the sequel hits Disney+ would break the trend for past movies, allowing fans to uncover how the cast and crew led by Black Panther 2 director Ryan Coogler pulled the insurmountable task of finishing the movie without its lead star, Chadwick Boseman. An Assembled release for Wakanda Forever at the end of 2022 would also serve as a fitting cap-off for the MCU's Phase 4 run. 

Another possible outcome is an Assembled episode mainly focused on the entire Phase 4 slate. While it could become repetitive due to its past installments, watching a recap of important bits from previous episodes could be a good refresher as the MCU approaches Phase 5. 

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.