Marvel's Phase 4 plans in tatters as it delays Thor 4, Black Panther 2 and more

Doctor Strange looks worried in his first MCU movie
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios)

It’s a bad day to be a MCU fan: Marvel announced that nearly every major film it plans on releasing over the next two years will be pushed back.

Including the films affected by the delay are Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness that will now be released in early May instead of March; Thor: Love and Thunder which now releases in July instead of May; and Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever that will now face a four-month delay, going from a July release date to November. That means The Marvels and Ant-Man 3 will be pushed back as well.

Here’s the full list of purported changes:

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: now May 6, 2022 | was March 25, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder: now July 8, 2022 | was May 6, 2022
  • Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever: now November 11, 2022 | was July 8, 2022
  • The Marvels: now early 2023 | was November 11, 2022
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania: now July 28, 2023 | was February 17, 2023

The only silver lining here is that the upcoming Hawkeye Disney Plus show and Spider-Man: No Way Home were unaffected by the delays and will still be available to watch online and in theaters on November 24, 2021 and December 17, 2021, respectively.  

Analysis: Turns out, making multi-million-dollar movies is a time-consuming process 

While your first thought might be that Disney wants to avoid another Black Widow scenario, the company says it’s making the decision to delay the films due to production conflicts. 

According to Deadline, “some titles are contending with finishing scenarios while others are in production,” which it says has led to a “domino effect” at the movie studio where films need to be pushed back later to accommodate the production schedule.

The easiest way to make that happen, Disney figures, is to just simply push each of the release dates back to the next slot, freeing up some time for production to get caught up. The logic makes sense even though it's disappointing.

Unfortunately none of these films will be coming to Disney Plus right out of the gate, and will instead be theatrical-only – though there’s a chance we’ll eventually see them on the service sometime down the road. 

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.