The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been through a lot over the past couple of years, but the light is finally brightening at the end of the tunnel .
After an eighteen-month gap since the end of Phase 3 , Marvel Studios is about to open the doors on Phase 4 with the premiere of WandaVision on Disney+. This will start the MCU’s most packed year to date as the team brings six Disney+ shows and four theatrical releases to screens worldwide.
This all comes after a year in 2020 where not one piece of new MCU content was unveiled, and the drought goes back to July of 2019 following the release of Spider-Man: Far from Home . Although this situation was tough to deal with, a recent news blast is revealing how much worse it could have been for Marvel Studios and its fans.
In a recent article with the New York Times , Marvel CCO Kevin Feige revealed that even with the delays forced on the MCU’s release schedule by the pandemic, the carefully planned master narrative was not affected. Feige makes it clear that, had projects like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War been delayed ahead of the release of Avengers: Endgame, Disney and Marvel Studios would've had "a bigger headache" on their hands:
“If the run we had in 2018 and 2019 had gotten disrupted this way, in the buildup to ‘Endgame,’ it would have been a bigger headache. With these projects, it worked well.”
The producer adds that the new releases in Phase 4 were only shifted by “a matter of weeks.”
WHAT THIS MEANS
Needless to say, Marvel Studios was incredibly lucky that a worldwide pandemic came during the time when there was already a substantial gap in between releases.
None of the Disney+ shows announced in 2019 had specific release dates until recently: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was initially set to debut in Fall 2020 while WandaVision had a Spring 2021 release date when first announced. These shows would've been nestled before and after the theatrical releases for Black Widow in May and Eternals in November before everything was pushed into 2021.
The way Feige describes it, fans will still get the same experience with the MCU's overarching narrative now as they would have with the old release schedule. Now, it comes with the fandom as greedy as ever for new content, and that coincides with the most content-rich year the MCU has ever had . In the end, it turns out to be a win for all involved.
The MCU will make its return with WandaVision when it debuts on Disney+ on January 15.