The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an entire year out of Marvel’s release schedule. It has caused a few production delays, but the actual delay in the release schedule is much bigger. All of a sudden, Marvel has 5 properties that have already been shot, three that are currently under production, and 5 that will start filming by Q1 2021.
What I mean by this is that they’d have a lot of content in hand, but slower means to push it out. And because Phase 5 is supposed to have even more projects than Phase 4, Marvel might have to make up for the 1 year they lost due to COVID-19. And, they’d do that by releasing at least 5 MCU movies in 2023.
The schedule of 2022 is currently fixed. Here’s what it looks like:
Thor: Love and Thunder (February 11)
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25)
Black Panther II (May 6)
Captain Marvel 2 (July 8)
Now, they cannot release another movie in August 2022 because Disney already has an Untitled Live Action movie scheduled on August 12. September is a month that Marvel never uses, so we reckon that they won’t start with it in 2022. Then, Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 is scheduled on October 7, 2022, so Marvel cannot go directly in competition with that. They have to maintain good relations with Sony. November already has two Disney movies scheduled, and December will bring out Avatar 2. So, this proves that the next MCU movie beyond Captain Marvel 2 will have to come out in 2023. And so, here’s how we think the 2023 MCU release schedule could look like:
- February – Ant-Man 3
We’ve heard it several times this year that Peyton Reed will begin production on Ant-Man 3 sometime in 2021. Very recently, the same has been reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Since Marvel may not be able to find a release date for it in 2022, they’ll have to release it in 2023. Now usually, Ant-Man movies arrive in July. But Ant-Man 3 will be far ahead in production than any other 2023 movie. So, it will surely hit theatres in Marvel’s usual February release window.
- May – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
THR also reported that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will begin production in late 2021. James Gunn will be done with both The Suicide Squad and HBO Max’s Peacemaker series by then. And he has already written the script of Guardians Vol. 3. So, he could straightaway begin production in late 2021. And because Vol. 3 will be this big team up finale event, it has to come out in Summer like Vol. 2. Hence, May 5, 2023 will be the release date of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
- July – Blade/Deadpool 3/Fantastic Four
July is another month where Marvel has regularly been releasing movies since 2011. So, we will definitely see a Marvel movie in the first week of July in 2023. But the question is, which movie would it be? Marvel has just announced that Deadpool 3 is in works with writers Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Loeglin. So, it could certainly take the July release date.
But Murphy’s Multiverse has revealed evidence that Disney-Marvel have booked two production companies – “Solve Everything Productions,” and “Grass-Fed Productions.” Solve Everything is actively developing a Fantastic Four movie, and Grass-Fed is currently hunting writers for Mahershala Ali’s Blade. So, depending upon when these films begin production, they could also take the July release date. For now, we’ll take a wild guess and pick Blade for July.
- November – Blade/Deadpool 3/Fantastic Four
November is another regular month of MCU. Since a big team up movie like Eternals will hit theatres in November 2021, we think that Marvel will do the same with Fantastic Four. It will arrive in November 2023 (unless Sony becomes greedy and wants to release Spider-Man 4 in 2023).
- March/August – Blade/Deadpool 3/Fantastic Four
August is a month which the MCU has only used once. If they’d want to use it again, then they’d probably release Deadpool 3 in mid-august, giving it a 1.5-month break from MCU’s July release. But March is a month that Marvel will have tested twice by then. So, just like Doctor Strange 2, late March might be the release window for Deadpool 3. Since it has already found its writers, it is certainly ahead of Fantastic Four and Blade with its development. So, our final call will be Deadpool 3 for March.
To give you a final summary, here’s my predicted release schedule of MCU for 2023:
Ant-Man 3 (February 10)
Deadpool 3 (March 24)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5)
Blade (July 7)
Fantastic Four (November 3)
The reason we believe that none of these movies will go beyond 2023 is because 2024 will probably bring us sequels to 2021 movies like Shang-Chi, Eternals and Spider-Man 3. And, there could be an Avengers 5, along with new films like Nova and X-Men. But obviously, further COVID-19 delays could change this line up!