The coronavirus pandemic has affected the globe on a scale unheard of before, and to ensure healthy practices and improved wellness, every theater was effectively shut down, and large tentpole releases moved around. Today, Disney has announced the upcoming changes to their slate, including an entire new look at Phase 4.
Black Widow was originally to have opened this May, is now taking over The Eternals slot at November 6, 2020. This 6 month delay is only the start of how films will be affected going forward.
The Eternals in turn will move to February 12, 2021, which in turn moves its original owner, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to May 7, 2021. That summer was originally planned to have Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness kickstart the film season, but it has been moved to November 5, 2021. Spider-Man 3 was not affected by these dates, yet, as it is a Sony distribution.
Thor: Love and Thunder, will take a new slot completely unoccupied of February 28, 2022, which leaves Black Panther 2 in place for May 8, 2022.
On the plus side, Captain Marvel 2 has moved up to July 8, 2022, two weeks sooner than anticipated. 2022 could see the second year of four MCU films opening in theaters.
What a ride! At least Marvel and Disney will give us our MCU in true timeline, however, what this remains to mean for the Disney+ streaming shows is completely different.