According to a new report, Marvel Studios is reevaluating its MCU Disney+ output, slowing its Phase 5 streaming output year-to-year.
It was mere months ago that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige pulled the tarp off the next half-decade plan for the super-powered franchise.
However, a lot has changed since then. As the exorbitant spending of the past few years levels out, players in the streaming business begin to realize that the endless content churn may not be a sustainable business model.
This caused Disney to re-evaluate its streaming efforts. Recent reports revealed that a number of MCU series have been pushed out of 2023, with names like Echo seemingly having been significantly delayed.
MCU Shows Delayed
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) reported that a number of Phase 5 MCU shows have been delayed, pushing some out of 2023.
The report revealed that Marvel is looking to spread out and tinker with its streaming content.
The move is what THR observers are calling "a massive correction" from the past couple of years where streamers were building content plans based on giving consumers "endless amounts to watch" and spending recklessly to do so.
One agency partner whose clients work within the MCU told THR that "you can have 10 mediocre shows or you can have five great shows," either way, "People will still stay on Disney+.”
Phase 5 Series & When They Are Coming
While the Samuel L. Jackson-starring Secret Invasion has been expected to release sometime in the first half of 2023, fans have been getting worried as Marvel Studios remains tight-lipped about the series' official release date.
Secret Invasion is one of two projects THR calls locked in for 2023. But this push from Disney means that the Marvel-themed spy thriller could be getting moved from the assumed release of April/May 2023 to sometime this summer. Perhaps it's falling into the slot that Loki Season 2 was seemingly going to occupy in late June or early July.
Loki Season 2
With the 2023 MCU streaming titles that were supposed to fill out the latter half of the year getting bumped, it feels like Loki Season 2 will move from the expected summer timeframe to later into the fall.
Footage for the time-hopping Marvel series has been shown in a number of Disey+ promos, so it feels like a sure bet that Loki makes this year. Fans should expect Tom Hiddleston and crew to grace their TV screens by the end of 2023, it just might be later than expected.
According to this report, Dominique Thorne's Ironheart is said to likely be moved out of this year. While previous reports mentioned a number of other series on this list, the young hero's Disney+ series felt like a lock for 2023.
The "tech versus magic" showdown will seemingly get the smallest push of the bunch here. It was assumed Ironheart would release in Fall 2023, so with a delay, it could be moved just a couple of months to early 2024, perhaps coming out around the same time WandaVision did back in January 2021.
Much has been made about Echo's release timing, seemingly being the most up-in-the-air of Marvel Studios' announced streaming series. While originally slated for Summer 2023, the title was reportedly hit by delays moving it to early 2024.
However, with this particular push, it could mean that Echo comes even later next year. With Ironheart seemingly coming out first, perhaps Echo becomes the second of three 2024 Disney+ series, releasing in either late May or early June.
Agatha: Coven of Chaos
After not appearing in a number of 'Coming in 2023' marketing pieces for Disney's streaming hub, it was already assumed Agatha: Coven of Chaos would not make 2023. But this newly reported rejiggering of the slate means it will be moved even more.
Right now, it is looking like 2023 will only see two MCU series hit Disney+, with three coming out in 2024. Coven of Chaos feels ripe for a spooky season release, coming out in the lead-up to Halloween 2024. Or if some more extensive reshuffling happens, Daredevil: Born Again could come out after this, with Agatha getting moved to 2025.
Daredevil: Born Again
Daredevil: Born Again is likely going to be the hardest hit when it comes to these delays. While initially slated for Spring 2024, Charlie Cox's full-fledged MCU return feels as though it will get moved at least a full year.
The series seemingly has to release after Echo. So there is no way it makes that originally announced release period. The last fans heard the title was in the middle of "glorious" prep with cameras not yet rolling. Seeing as the schedule is on the move, Born Again should be expected sometime in early 2025.
MCU Changes Beyond Disney+
What will be interesting to see as the dust settles around these Phase 5 streaming delays is what it means for Marvel Studios' big screen efforts.
Marvel has been clear that these Disney+ series are just as important to the greater MCU narrative as its theatrical projects (despite what some fans may say), so shifting things on one side of the franchise without doing anything on the other feels unlikely.
This means that the theatrical slate leading into Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars feels primed and ready for a similar push at the hands of Kevin Feige and Disney CEO Bob Iger.