After delays to shooting schedules for all Marvel Phase 4 films, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier began production again last week in Atlanta, a month after the originally intended August 2020 release date.
The show was originally conceived as the grand launch of the Marvel originals on Disney Plus, with WandaVision following in December 2020. But thanks to Winter Soldier delays caused by the pandemic, Disney Plus announced its intention to have WandaVision kick off its Marvel TV shows in late 2020 instead.
However unlikely, it was always possible that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier could sneak in behind WandaVision as a holiday 2020 release. Now, thanks to a small update on Disney Plus, we have confirmed that the show is "Coming 2021", as seen on its Disney Plus home page (opens in new tab) as spotted by CNET (opens in new tab).
The original production in Prague was shut down in early March, with several weeks of reported shooting left to complete. Based on the original timetable, that would have left Disney with three to four months of post-production to get its six-hour runtime ready for streaming in August.
Assuming production follows a similar timetable, we could see The Falcon and the Winter Soldier complete filming in October or November, and post-production in time for Spring 2021 — the original release date for the Loki TV show. But this is purely speculation.
How this affects the upcoming Marvel lineup
The order of the Marvel movies and shows is in total flux, and the changing schedules for the Disney Plus originals could have something to do with the planned release dates for upcoming Phase 4 films.
We know from Marvel comments that both WandaVision and Loki tie into Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, which originally had a May 7, 2021 release date before being pushed to March 25, 2022. This new date gives Marvel time to push Loki's date into late 2020, past The Falcon, and still serve as a tie-in to the film.
As for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, none of the upcoming Phase 4 films appear to have any connection to these characters. A standalone miniseries that looks back on Captain America's legacy, it can be released independently anytime in 2021 without affecting the future of the MCU.
The other planned Disney Plus originals are What If...? (originally planned for Summer 2021), Hawkeye (Fall 2021), Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight and She-Hulk. All of these shows could be pushed back one season or more to make room for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Tatiana Maslany was recently cast as She-Hulk, which may mean that the show will leapfrog ahead of other shows on the schedule.