The MCU’s Original Release Plan Could’ve Fixed Phase 4


The Marvel Cinematic Universe initially had a really totally different timeline for its Phase 4 initiatives than how they really wound up being launched. The MCU is a fastidiously crafted franchise that has to steadiness all of it is interconnected tales and characters, typically years earlier than they’re really revealed. Because of this, the MCU is aware of that launch order of initiatives is crucial and can incessantly announce the anticipated launch dates years upfront at occasions similar to Comic Con or D23. However, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench of their Phase 4 launch order.


Phase 4 has been a battle for the MCU. While some blame Marvel fatigue, the shortage of clear course Phase 4 had, or the actual fact that there have been no Avengers staff up motion pictures, one other issue could also be at play. The launch order of Phase 4 initiatives was not the way it was supposed to be. If Marvel had launched Phase 4 because it was initially introduced, it might have helped many initiatives succeed by making certain the general narrative labored within the initially supposed method.

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Why The MCU Changed Its Phase 4 Release Plan

The unique launch dates for Phase 4 had the MCU motion pictures and exhibits slated for the next dates.

  • Black Widow – May 1, 2020
  • The Falcon and the Winter Solider – Fall 2020
  • Eternals – Nov 6, 2020
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – Feb 12, 2021
  • WandaVision – Spring 2021
  • Loki – Spring 2021
  • Doctor Strange within the Multiverse of Madness – May 7, 2021
  • What If…? – Summer 2021
  • Hawkeye – Fall 2021
  • Thor: Love and Thunder – November 5, 2021
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home – Winter 2021

In July 2019, Kevin Feige introduced Phase 4 at San Diego Comic Con and a lot of the corresponding launch dates. Some initiatives, similar to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, and Moon Knight, had been nonetheless unannounced on the time which is why, though they had been included in Phase 4, they weren’t within the official lineup till after these initiatives had already been shuffled round.

Less than a 12 months after the announcement of Phase 4 was made, COVID-19 disrupted the fastidiously thought out plans, forcing Marvel to rethink their launch dates and even rewrite lots of their scripts. Instead of pushing Phase 4 again indefinitely, as nobody knew if or when film theaters would open again up, Marvel made the selection to launch their Disney+ exhibits first. They then did a hybrid with Black Widow by providing it on streaming and within the theaters when it made its launch in the summertime of 2021.

The Original Phase 4 Order Better Sets Up The Multiverse

MCU phase 4 sam wilson captain america loki she hulk infinity war saga

The present MCU Phase 4 did repair criticisms from prior phases. But Phase 4 was meant to kick off the Multiverse Saga – which it did, albeit weakly. The unique Phase 4 did a a lot better job of establishing the multiverse as a complete and retaining narrative threads. The section kicked off with a well-known faces to determine the impression of Endgame whereas furthering their tales to broaden on them later, earlier than slowly introducing the MCU multiverse and its subsequent Endgame with new characters and extra magical, metaphysical ideas. The current MCU Phase 4 kicking off with WandaVision was thrilling, however in the end muddied these narrative traces extra early on.

The releases of Loki, Doctor Strange within the Multiverse of Madness, and What If? again to again is an ideal instance of this. Right now, What If? appears disconnected from Marvel’s different initiatives, regardless of hints of it displaying up in Multiverse of Madness. But the three initiatives being launched inside weeks of one another might have higher arrange the multiverse in a extra cohesive means, and Multiverse of Madness might have carried out higher as part of Phase 4 in consequence.

Related: Secret Invasion Is Doing Justice For 3 MCU Phase 1 Characters

Many initiatives in Phase 4 had been additionally rewritten to accommodate MCU date adjustments and reshuffled schedules. For instance, Valentina Allegra de Fontaine’s introduction to the MCU has additionally been messy, as she was first supposed to seem in Black Widow with subsequent appearances streamlining her character and cementing her into the MCU. Instead, she has popped up at random occasions and her place throughout the MCU nonetheless hasn’t been made clear. America Chavez was additionally purported to make a reappearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home again when it was going to be launched after Multiverse of Madness, however after the discharge dates had been flipped, she was reduce from the story.

Marvel’s Original Spider-Man Plan Saves NWH AND MoM

Tom Holland in Spider-Man No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home was already considered one of Marvel’s largest successes in Phase 4. But if it had been launched after Doctor Strange within the Multiverse of Madness, it might have saved Multiverse of Madness and accomplished even higher itself. Doctor Strange’s habits in No Way Home appeared odd, as he blamed Peter for the spell gone mistaken and was ruthless with the film’s villains. If No Way Home had adopted Multiverse of Madness, this is able to have made much more sense. Doctor Strange had simply witnessed a buddy flip to the darkish aspect and attempt to reap the benefits of a younger superhero for her personal achieve.

In reality, the unique launch order may’ve helped the narrative of Multiverse of Madness even additional. WandaVision’s ending was impacted by rewrites that reduce out lots of darker closing battle scenes that higher arrange Wanda’s villain arc. The Marvel Cinematic Universe definitely would’ve regarded lots totally different if the MCU’s Phase 4 had performed out prefer it was purported to, and audiences have hopes that Phases 5 and 6 is not going to be disrupted in order that the MCU can get its overarching plans totally again on monitor.

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