Exclusive: Marvel Studio Head Kevin Feige reveals that Marvel’s plans haven’t changed significantly in spite of delays due to coronavirus.
According to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, the MCU’s Phase 4 plans remain largely unchanged in spite of the delays caused by coronavirus. The coronavirus pandemic brought Hollywood to a standstill, disrupting every aspect of filmmaking – from production to release schedules. Studios were forced to push their films back, and it’s reasonable to assume the delays aren’t over yet.
Studios choose release dates carefully, and reschedules are tricky. But the problems are compounded for Marvel Studios, given one change made to the slate affects multiple other productions over the next few years. Some of Marvel’s decisions have seemed rather surprising, with the actual release order shuffled as well; the MCU’s Phase 4 now begins with WandaVision, a Disney+ TV series, rather than with Black Widow. There’s been intense curiosity over whether or not this actually forged some rewrites, given the MCU typically has a strong ongoing narrative.
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Speaking exclusively to Screen Rant at a recent press junket, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed the impact has not been particularly pronounced; although there have been slight tweaks, nothing major has changed.
“It’s a question I’ve obviously been asked a lot with good reason. And the other day, I said, ‘If this had happened a year or two before, we obviously wouldn’t have had [it so easy].’ We always adapt, is the truth. That’s part of what storytelling and filmmaking is, is adjusting and adapting. But we would have had to change a heck of a lot more in the build up to Endgame than we’ve had to now.
The fact that WandaVision is before Black Widow and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, after you see all of them, I can tell you a couple of a tiny things [changed] here and there. But almost nothing, is the truth. The alternative is, often when you’re thrown for a loop, you end up with something better. I don’t want to say 2020 led to anything better, frankly, but the fact that WandaVision is the debut show is actually quite appropriate.
The show was always intended as an opportunity for us to play with the medium of television, and play with storytelling in a way we haven’t done before, and I’m very happy and very proud that it turns out WandaVision is the debut of that. Because it’s the boldest swing we’ve ever done, and something that could not ever have even been a movie. It actually only works as episodic.”
Feige is certainly right that Marvel was fortunate this didn’t happen a year earlier, disrupting the release of Avengers: Endgame, which was seen as the culmination of a single decade-long arc. Delaying the conclusion of Phase 3 would have been difficult, especially given Marvel was attempting to keep future projects under wraps, so they wouldn’t have had any fan-pleasing announcements. Instead, Marvel has simply pushed back the launch of Phase 4, and the beginning of this next phase of the MCU has been shuffled around in order to take advantage of the different mediums now available to the studio. With cinemas still disrupted worldwide, it makes sense to launch Phase 4 on Disney+ instead; the streaming service has passed 86 million subscribers worldwide, smashing industry expectations.
It is, however, quite surprising to hear the narrative impact of reshuffling releases has been so muted. This may suggest the beginning of Phase 4, at least, is a little less connected than is traditionally the case with the MCU, giving Marvel a bit more leeway. That approach would actually make strategic sense; the more tightly-connected everything is, the harder it will be to coordinate, and Marvel plans to release a quite staggering amount of content over the next few years. This is not to say there won’t be links and connections, of course, but many of them may become a little more subtle, and indeed it’s possible each MCU movie or TV show will only directly link to a couple of other properties for ease of management. It’s going to be fascinating to see how things play out.
More: MCU Phase 4 Has Three Avengers Movies Now
- Black Widow (2021)Release date: May 07, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
Black Panther 2 Focuses on the World of Wakanda
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