Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige can't — or won't — say when Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ends. Following the conclusion of the Infinity Saga in Avengers: Endgame and Phase Three epilogue Spider-Man: Far From Home, the next phase of the MCU was to launch with Black Widow before the coronavirus pandemic delayed the Scarlett Johansson-starring prequel to May 2021. After 2020 became the first year without a Marvel Studios film since 2009, it's Endgame spin-off WandaVision that ends an 18-month drought and launches Phase Four when the first Marvel Studios series premieres on Disney+ on January 15.
Along with WandaVision, which reunites "unusual couple" Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) in a blend of classic sitcoms, the MCU extends on television with a 2021 roster that includes The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Ms. Marvel, and Hawkeye, as well as the animated What If...?
Previously announced titles set for theatrical release include Shang-Chi, Eternals, and Spider-Man 3 — all dated for 2021 — and 2022 films Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther II, and Captain Marvel 2. Beyond the 2023-dated Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, undated franchise entries include Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and the rebooted Blade and Fantastic Four.
Was there any hesitation launching Phase Four with the out-there WandaVision instead of Black Widow and Falcon/Winter Soldier as planned? Marvel Studios has some room for adjustment, Feige said, but he's "not saying we were prepped for a global pandemic. We were not."
As for WandaVision being unlike anything Marvel moviegoers have seen before, "I hope it says, 'Get ready for the new and the different.'"
"Certainly, with the Disney+ opportunities, it has allowed us to expand creatively what we do. [Falcon/Winter Soldier] was gonna debut first last year, followed very soon behind by WandaVision," Feige said. "This required no shuffling whatsoever in terms of the creative... As is often the case when you're thrown curveballs, the unexpected has often served Marvel Studios well, and it has served us well in this case because this show, being our first one, I love how bold it is."
Marvel Studios has an entire slate of features that will screen only in theaters before finding an eventual streaming home as part of the Disney+ library. With WandaVision, Feige said, "This is very much made to be seen week after week on television, which is very different for us."0comments
WandaVision premieres January 15 on Disney+.
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