The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in the age of transformation as it welcomes new heroes and villains into the fold. While Phase 4 has already shifted its release dates several times due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many would agree that the anticipation for these projects is still high, especially after the impressive run of Disney+ shows like WandaVision, Loki, and Hawkeye.
As the MCU welcomes a new calendar year, this development also means that fresh projects are on the horizon for fans to watch.
Phase 4 has changed significantly ever since its original announcement during San Diego Comic-Con 2019. Despite a quiet 2020, Marvel Studios still managed to deliver a new wave of content in 2021, such as its big-screen offerings like Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Given the ever-changing situation of the current health crisis, it remains to be seen if the MCU's 2022 lineup will be altered once again. Now, a new update has emerged that could give fans a clearer picture of what to expect.
No Secret Invasion & What If Season 2 in 2022?
Marvel Japan updated Marvel Studios' 2022 slate on its official website by removing Secret Invasion and What If...? Season 2 from the list.
Marvel Studios' updated lineup for 2022 can be seen below:
- Moon Knight (March 30, 2022)
- Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness (May 6, 2022)
- Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8, 2022)
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (November 11, 2022)
- She-Hulk (TBD)
- Ms. Marvel (TBD)
- I Am Groot (TBD)
When will Secret Invasion Come out on Disney+?
At this stage, it's reasonable to assume that Secret Invasion and What If...? Season 2 could be slated for the first half of 2023.
Given that Secret Invasion was rumored to be closely tied to The Marvels, it's possible that the Nick Fury-led show would premiere around January 2023 to boost anticipation for the Captain Marvel sequel's February 2023 release.
This could mean that Secret Invasion might take the same release window that The Book of Boba Fett is currently running on, releasing in December 2022 or early January 2023.
There is also the possibility that The Marvels movie leads in to Secret Invasion, not the other way around. If this is the case, it's very likely that Secret Invasion could come out during the same release window as Moon Knight, late March.
When will What If Season 2 come to Disney+?
As for What If...? Season 2, the animated series, has a little more flexibility. It seems like Disney is going out of their way to not release 2 live-action shows at the same time. Meaning a live-action Star Wars and live-action Marvel show won't be released simultaneously.
However, that doesn't mean an animated Marvel show like What If couldn't be released at the same time as a live-action Star Wars show. This could mean What If season 2 comes out in 2022.
While the series is likely to premiere in the first half of 2022 (maybe simultaneously with The Mandalorian Season 3), there is a chance it releases during the same window it released in 2021, late summer 2023.
Marvel's Still Impressive 2022 Slate
This latest update from Marvel Japan should serve as a guide for fans who are religiously following the MCU's Phase 4 slate. It remains to be seen if these changes will stick, but many would agree that seeing Secret Invasion and What If...? Season 2 in 2023 could be the best route to go.
It's worth noting that this isn't the first time that an international Marvel branch openly revealed the franchise's ever-changing lineup. In October 2021, Marvel India's official Twitter account accidentally showcased Blade's original release date as October 7, 2022.
Finding the right balance among many projects is vital, especially since Marvel Studios has an already-stacked slate. Keeping shows like Secret Invasion and What If...? off from its 2022 lineup could strike the right balance among the projects, thus placing the focus on new MCU leads, namely Moon Knight, She-Hulk, and Ms. Marvel.
Whatever the case, many would agree that the MCU still has an impressive slate of projects in 2022 despite the absence of Secret Invasion and What If...?.