In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Disney has overhauled its 2020 release schedule by moving a number of its most highly-anticipated films back. And right now, perhaps the biggest thing Disney has going for it is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The next movie in this franchise, and the first film from Marvel’s Phase Four, is ‘Black Widow’, which was supposed to open on May 1. But it definitely doesn’t look as though theaters will be open by then, so ‘Black Widow’ has been pushed way back to November 6.
That was the original release date for ‘Eternals’. That film has now been pushed to February 12, 2021, and as a result, has shifted the entire slate of Marvel Phase Four movies back. Here are the new dates:
- ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ – May 7, 2021
- ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ – November 5, 2021
- ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ – February 18, 2022
Mixed into the report was the announcement of release dates for the first parts of Phase Five– ‘Black Panther 2’ on May 6, 2022, and ‘Captain Marvel 2’ on July 8, 2022.
‘Black Widow’ is believed to be complete and ready for release. ‘Eternals’ has completed principle filming, but still requires post-production which has been paused due to the coronavirus.
Outside of the MCU, ‘Mulan’ is now slated to hit theaters on July 24, 2020, previously the release date for ‘Jungle Cruise’. That film has been pushed to almost a year later, and is now expected to hit theaters on July 20, 2021. It must be noted, however, that there is no guarantee that multiplexes will be reopened by July of this year, so consider ‘Mulan’s new release date tentative.
Action-comedy ‘Free Guy’ has been moved from August 3, 2020, to December 11, 2020. Wes Anderson’s ‘The French Dispatch’ (from subsidiary Searchlight Pictures) has moved from August 24, 2020, to October 16, 2020.
Much farther out, one project that hasn’t begun production yet, ‘Indiana Jones 5’, has a new release date of July 29, 2022.
Disney previously announced that the following films would no longer open on their original release dates– ‘New Mutants’, ‘Woman in the Window’, ‘Antlers’, and ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’– but it has yet to announce new dates.
Disney has not pulled other movies from their scheduled dates– ‘Soul’ (June 19), ‘West Side Story’ (Dec. 18), and ‘The Last Duel’ (Dec. 25). It’s entirely possible it won’t shift the latter two, but ‘Soul’ will likely move, unless there is a sudden and sweeping course change in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These announcements arrive along with the surprising news that ‘Artemis Fowl’ is not getting a theatrical release at all, but will instead be released via Disney+.
What do you think of these new release dates? Would you rather Disney release these movies digitally, or are you willing to wait to see them on the big screen?