The spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has disrupted the giant Hollywood machine in major ways. Movie theaters are closed nationwide and could be that way for twelve weeks or even longer, resulting in feature films being removed from the schedule and some delayed until summer 2021 as a major precaution. Furthermore, production on movies and shows has been suspended around the world, among them Marvel Studios' first Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. This series was already set for release later this year, but will it now be delayed because of the virus' spread? Let's speculate below because there is overwhelming evidence.
Production began on the series at the end of October in 2019 and has already faced a few bumps in the road during principal photography. In January the series was scheduled to move to Puerto Rico but scrapped those plans after Earthquakes in the region made working conditions unsuitable. The series remained in Georgia instead and wrapped in the Peach State in mid-February ahead of a production move to Prague in the Czech Republic. Filming in the region only took place for a few days and was quickly shut down due to the coronavirus.
As far as we know, those sequences haven't been shot at all as crews and productions around the world aren't working, which leaves us with lingering questions. The first of which is, were the sequences set to be shot in Puerto Rico instead shot in Atlanta or was the shooting schedule reworked to postpone those days to later on? Furthermore, will the sequences that were set to be shot in Prague be shot stateside at a later point or will the scripts be re-written to not be needed in the end?
Speaking of script re-writes, yet another wrinkle in the show's production was previously reported as well and if true could see major changes come to the series before it's released. Scooper Charles Murphy previously reported the rumor that the production may have made a pretty substantial tweak to at least one plotline. Early reports and rumors from the set of the show suggested the series would at least deal in part with a bioterrorism threat of sorts and a pandemic. Due to the coronavirus, Murphy said he's heard "a growing number of whispers" saying Disney is trying to get ahead of the curve by rewriting — and subsequently reshooting — the parts of the show with this particular thread in it so as not to include the pieces in the show. At this point this remains a rumor though, but could pose a big problem for the series.
All of that in mind, before the show's Prague-set production was cancelled, it was revealed on the Walt Disney Company first quarter investor call that the series would debut in August of this year. That date now seems a little unlikely with all of the changes to the production schedule, the inability to film new sequences, plus the rumor of major re-writes to remove a pandemic plotline (which can't be re-shot at this point either). We should note that as of this writing there has been no indication from Marvel Studios or Disney that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be delayed; but with major production delays already in effect, and no sign of a return to the norm anytime soon, it's possible that the series may not arrive until later in the year. Even AMC's The Walking Dead, which was scheduled to wrap up its 10th season in just three weeks, will not air the season 10 finale due to delays in the post-production schedule.
Marvel Studios has already indefinitely delayed Black Widow from its May 1 release date with no clear point in time later in the year when it will be released. That film was supposed to kickstart the entire Marvel Studios Phase Four line-up and if Marvel Studios wishes to maintain their plans for the entire phase then that would delay a number of projects beyond just this Disney+ series.
What do you think? Will The Falcon and the Winter Soldier be delayed because of the coronavirus? Sound off in the comments below!