Marvel Studios could for the first time release five movies in one year, should Disney keep hold of all release dates so far staked throughout 2022. Following a change in dates Friday, which reshuffled release dates for Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Sam Raimi-directed Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was bumped from late 2021 to early 2022, with the untitled Spider-Man 3, to be co-financed by Sony and Disney under the terms of a renewed pact between the two studios, moving from July 2021 onto an early November 2021 date once held by Thor: Love and Thunder.
Taika Waititi's sequel to Thor: Ragnarok will now release one week earlier, moving up from February 18 to February 11, 2022. The Doctor Strange sequel was bumped from November 5, 2021, to March 25, 2022, and will be followed by director Ryan Coogler's Black Panther II on May 6. That summer, Brie Larson returns in the Captain Marvel sequel soaring into theaters July 8, 2022.
Marvel earlier planted a flag on October 7, 2022, but is now expected to move off that date. As of Friday, that date now belongs to Sony's animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2, bumped from April 8, 2022. It has been speculated the October 7 date, not yet officially abandoned by Marvel Studios, belonged to its Blade reboot starring Mahershala Ali as that project was first announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2019.
The Spider-Man 3 date change was expected after Sony pushed Venom: Let There Be Carnage off its October 2, 2020 release date to June 25, 2021, a date recently vacated by Warner Bros.' The Batman. The untitled Spidey sequel again starring Tom Holland as the wall-crawler was originally scheduled to swing into theaters July 16, 2021. Sony's Morbius, which has ties to the Disney-owned MCU, was previously postponed from late July of this year to its new date of March 19, 2021.
Whether Marvel Studios releases four or an unprecedented five films in 2022, president and producer Kevin Feige is not concerned with so-called comic book movie fatigue.
"For years, predating the history of Marvel Studios itself, people asked me about superhero fatigue and if it was a fad or a phase," Feige said in a 2018 interview, before the release of Avengers: Infinity War. "I say, if they're all different, if they're all special, nobody will get tired of these things before we at Marvel Studios will, since we live and breathe these things 24 hours a day."
Listing such diverse films as Ragnarok, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Panther, Feige added, "[You] keep it interesting and change it up. And we will continue to do that."
Marvel Studios next releases Black Widow, again starring Scarlett Johansson as the super-spy Avenger, November 6, 2020.