MCU Phase 4 is finally on the roll and people are already loving the ride. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is too big to fail now, so even a risky venture like WandaVision did extremely well on a brand new platform. Disney+ has crossed 100 million subscribers, thanks to a surge of new subs through WandaVision. But it’s obvious that Disney would be targeting the Netflix number, i.e. 200 million+ subs. For that, they’ll have to offer more premium content every year. The gears have begun to shift quickly now as we’re just about to get The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and at least 4 other MCU shows within this year. But what about 2022?
Marvel and Star Wars made a huge splash on Disney Investor Day 2020. But it would be fair to say that they still didn’t give away all of their playing chips. Kathleen Kennedy left out The Book of Boba Fett reveal and it seems that Marvel didn’t tell us what they are going to do with Blade and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. All Kevin Feige revealed was that these two films are under development alongside a dozen other MCU projects. He didn’t mention any specific release dates. But it seems that the MCU is fast-tracking these two films for 2022 as well.
So far, here’s how MCU’s theatrical release schedule of 2022 looks:
– Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25)
– Thor: Love and Thunder (May 6)
– Black Panther II (July 8)
– Captain Marvel 2 (November 11)
Besides these films, we’re supposedly getting the following 5 TV series and a Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney+ in 2022:
– Moon Knight
– Secret Invasion
– Ironheart (it’s possible that Ironheart might arrive in 2023 alongside Armor Wars)
– I am Groot
So, 2022’s release schedule is absolutely stacked. And yet, we’ve got people working on Ant-Man 3 and Blade repeatedly saying that those two films are also arriving in 2022. Ant-Man 3 actors have been constantly saying that they will begin production for Quantumania in 2021. Check out what Michael Douglas posted a while back:
He clearly stated that the forthcoming Ant-Man flick will release next year. And now, comic book writer and co-creator of Blade, Marv Wolfman has posted a very interesting status update on Facebook. He specifically wrote, “Next year Blade,” among other things. There is a chance that Marv Wolfman just made an honest mistake. But Blade just landed Stacy Osei-Kuffour as its writer. It doesn’t have a director yet. But we recently came across a report stating that Marvel Studios’ Blade is set to begin production in late 2021. Marvel locked Mahershala Ali back in 2019. So, they’ve possibly been developing the solo Blade project for a while now. And if the cameras begin rolling this year, then they could be planning for a 2022 release. Having said that, the only place Blade and AM3 could find their home is on Disney+.
There are two reasons I’m mentioning the possibility of Disney+ and not a theatrical release. The first reason is that Disney CEO Bob Chapek mentioned a hundred new titles hitting the streamer within a year. Secondly, Disney’s theatrical release schedule is totally stacked for the entirety of 2022. The MCU had a release slot available for October 7, 2022, but I’m pretty sure that it was traded with Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 so that Doctor Strange 2 could be placed on March 25. So, Marvel practically has no release slots left in 2022. And if they are persistent for Blade and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania to come out within the same year as Thor 4, then they’d have to do it on Disney+.
This is pure speculation based on the posts we’ve seen from Michael Douglas and Marv Wolfman. We should probably wait until the official announcements arrive. But in my personal opinion, none of the release dates are totally locked in during these COVID times. Things could always change. And knowing that Marvel is already planning to release at least 10 projects within 2022, I believe that Blade and Ant-Man 3 will only hit theatres in 2023. I mean, what’s the rush really? You wouldn’t want to overdo things. Disney+ will do extremely well even if Blade and Ant-Man 3 were to release theatrically in 2023, and not on the streamer. So, my personal verdict stands for 2023, but let’s wait and see how things turn out.