After the Infinity Saga got here to an finish with Avengers: Endgame in 2019, the deck was successfully cleared for the MCU to get weirder and spotlight some fresh, young faces. Whereas that’s occurred to some extent within the type of nice surprises like Ms. Marvel or Moon Knight, issues have been pretty shaky for the franchise from Part 4 onward, and it doesn’t appear like that’ll be altering anytime quickly.
Just lately, Shang-Chi & the Ten Rings star Simu Liu did an AMA over on Meta’s sizzling new platform Threads. Naturally, Liu was requested in regards to the standing of his second solo film (at present simply often called Shang-Chi 2) and he plainly acknowledged that its launch standing is presently up within the air. It was initially meant to observe an Avengers movie, however as a result of that “retains pushing again on account of circumstances past my management,” it leaves the state of his personal film in flux. And since each Avengers: Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars have been respectively pushed to Might 2026 and Might 2027 final month, which means there’ll be a 5 or six-year hole between Shang’s titular movies.
Shang-Chi isn’t the primary MCU character to be on this predicament—Physician Unusual didn’t get a sequel to his 2016 movie till final yr, however that character had sporadic appearances in different media, and was a key participant in Avengers: Infinity Warfare. By the point Physician Unusual within the Multiverse of Insanity rolled round, Marvel had already completed the work of positioning Benedict Cumberbatch’s sorcerer as a key participant going ahead. It’s at present unclear if Shang can have that very same therapy given what we all know is slated to come back out comparatively quickly, however this latest delay highlights how messy issues have been for the MCU in recent times. Even when that messiness is because of actual world circumstances outdoors of its management just like the COVID-19 pandemic, its dealing with of these occasions isn’t actually nice—2021 and 2022’s deluge of releases would have you ever pondering the studio was going out of enterprise within the subsequent week. It wasn’t straightforward to get a really feel for the long run when there’s a lot combating for oxygen and virtually cannibalizing one another, to say nothing of different Disney media additionally releasing in the identical airspace.
Disney’s appeared to have discovered its lesson from the final two years and is deliberately giving more breathing room for Part 5 materials like Ironheart and Echo. However too many releases is the least of the studio’s issues this yr: tales of VFX crunch and abuse allegations of its top-billed stars hover over the the large image future. The current, ongoing WGA Strike additional throws issues into disarray as some initiatives like Blade and Thunderbolts are delayed indefinitely whereas others akin to Deadpool 3 and Captain America: Courageous New World are nonetheless in manufacturing at time of writing. However with the specter of an actors’ strike looming on the horizon, these productions might quickly floor to a halt within the subsequent couple of days.
Marvel and Disney will finally be high quality, except yet one more occasion units them again by a yr or two. However the string of occasions which have kneecapped Phases 4 and 5 within the final couple of years present how simply the studio can get tripped up, and why it most likely doesn’t harm to take issues one step at a time fairly than making an attempt to dash to the end line.
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