Friday night, Disney unveiled a set of five new release dates for Marvel Studios movies from October 7, 2022 to November 3, 2023. That confirms the Kevin Feige-led outfit will have at least four movies for three years straight from 2021 onward. Since we only officially know one movie in 2022 — Black Panther 2 on May 6th — we figured we'd try analyzing the other release dates on the schedule to see if we could make heads or tails of the current slate of release dates.
Below, you'll find our guesses — or at least the estimates from this writer, in particular — of the Marvel movies in 2022 and 2023. As with both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, release dates can change even just a few months in advance, so the dates listed aren't guaranteed to be the final dates. Keep scrolling to see what movies might fall on the upcoming release dates, then head to the comments section — or tweet me at @AdamBarnhardt — to discuss your take on the release schedule!
Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney
Out of any movie on the slate, this was the one toss-up and I eventually settled on a Fantastic Four reboot for plenty of reasons. First, most of the sequels that have been confirmed to be in development already have release dates. After Feige confirmed at this year's D23 Black Panther 2 would get the May 6, 2022 release date, it all but guaranteed the February date would be a new property. After all, it's far too early for either Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or Captain Marvel 2 to fall in that time frame.
When it comes to new properties, Fantastic Four is very likely to be the first Fox property the House of Ideas introduces into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, considering the handful of X-Men movies fans have gotten of lately. There's been growing speculation Ant-Man 3 could feature the property and while that might be the case, Marvel's First Family is too big of a property to spin out of something else. Introduce the Fantastic Four in their own movie and have them crossover with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), and the rest of the Ant-Man team somehow.
Little speculation needed here. Kevin Feige and director Ryan Coogler were both on hand to confirm this release date at D23 Expo in August.
To date, both films in the Ant-Man franchise have received release dates in July. It's smack dab in the middle of the summer blockbuster season and each time, the movies have been pretty safe bets at the box office. With the franchise's light-hearted tone with lead Paul Rudd, the movie's have also been placed behind some of the MCU's heavier-toned properties — first trailing Avengers: Age of Ultron and then Avengers: Infinity War.
It's confirmed Ant-Man 3 won't be following an Avengers 3 movie this time around, but it's incredibly likely Black Panther 2 will carry on the political thriller tones of its predecessor, especially if some rumored plot points of a certain underwater nemesis come to fruition.
I just got done writing about this date in length in its own piece, which you can read here. Maybe it's an incredibly elementary way of looking at the scheduling process, but Blade at Halloween makes a whole lot of sense. Marvel's never scheduled an October release date, so why else would the studio go a month ahead of the time it typically schedules its fall releases? Maybe this is the date Marvel has mind for Fantastic Four and it will swap places with Blade. Or perhaps Marvel's planning a Deadpool 3 release here, but I still think it's a bit too early for that. Blade seems like a super safe bet here, no matter which way you look at it.
Here's another movie that's difficult to place, because it could easily fall into either the February or May 2023 dates. With the introduction of the Skrulls in Captain Marvel, this movie almost has the possibility of being an Avengers 4.5 should they pursue a bigger storyline, much like the role Civil War served as a major team-up film between Age of Ultron and Infinity War. Should Marvel Studios stray away from Secret Invasion and not do a major team-up, I'd expect an Avengers 5 to drop in May. Speaking of which...
After the deepness that was Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, I'd be surprised to see another Avengers movie so soon — but in hindsight, it'd have been four full years by this point. Like I said under the Captain Marvel part, if they treat Captain Marvel 2 as they did Civil War, I'd imagine a different team-up here, saying Young Avengers or maybe even that rumored Thunderbolts feature. If that's not the case and they don't choose to go full-on Secret Invasion epicness, perhaps Marvel thinks it'd be time for Avengers 5 or a New Avengers rebrand. It should be noted Endgame had a similar release date before being bumped up a week.
Or maybe they won't have an Avengers movie here at all, in which case Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would almost most certainly fill the void. Speaking of which...
With the original Avengers now out of the way, it's pretty safe to say Guardians of the Galaxy is one of Marvel's most popular franchises. Because of that, it's very likely to fall in a summer slot and one would think 2022 is still a bit too early for the movie to materialize, especially after Black Panther 2 has taken the May 2022 date.
I could easily see this falling in the May 2023 date given the circumstances. Another thing that might come to mind is a date for Spider-Man 4, should Marvel Studios and Sony reach another extension. Throughout their agreement to date, Sony's want to crank out a Spider-Man film every other year and has had a movie in July 2017 and July 2019, and is set to introduce Spider-Man 3 July 2021.
It seems odd Disney would put this date on the schedule in holding it for a potential Spider-Man, especially since that's a date that comes from Sony. Ultimately, that's why the reason why I figured Guardians 3 could end up falling here and allowing Marvel time to squeeze in a team-up of some sort earlier in the year to kick off blockbuster season. If, and that's a big if, there's an Avengers flick in 2023, I'd be very surprised to see it get the July slot. Keeping in the vein of the Ant-Man franchise, Guardians 3 would be the next most bankable summer slot property.
Probably disappointing many of you is the fact I have Deadpool 3 this late on the release schedule. Maybe it could fall in the February 2022 date, though Ryan Reynolds has a pretty packed schedule. Maybe it could fall in the October 2022 date, but I'm way too sold on Blade hitting right in the midst of spooky season. I just don't get the sense Marvel Studios is in a rush to introduce Reynolds' Wade Wilson to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially since it's rated-R.
A lot of things can change between now and then, but it'd almost make more sense to have Deadpool cameo once or twice to get the MCU crowd used to him — or at least warmed up to the idea — before dropping a feature-length Marvel Studios-branded movie on an unsuspecting audience. After all, the last two November releases from Marvel Studios have been ambitious in their own right (Thor: Ragnarok and Doctor Strange) and introducing a hard R movie to the MCU is nothing short of ambitious.