Following recent developments in Hollywood and at Marvel Studios, the MCU’s Phase 6 slate is in jeopardy of getting delayed.
Marvel Studios announced its Phase 5 slate at 2022’s San Diego Comic-Con, but since then, there have been some massive changes and delays.
Even after getting past the COVID-19 delays in 2020 and 2021, the backlash to Phase 4 led to some major behind-the-scenes changes to ensure a quality-over-quantity approach.
And even now that things are getting back on track, Hollywood is now suffering through a writers’ and actors’ strike, spurring further pushes.
MCU Phase 6 Seems to be Delayed
The MCU recently made some major release adjustments to its Phases 5 and Phase 6 slate due to the ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes, thus pushing back the releases of the upcoming Disney+ shows Echo, Ironheart, Agatha: Darkhold Diaries, and Daredevil: Born Again.
At the time of the Phase 5 slate announcement at July 2022’s San Diego Comic-Con, Agatha: House of Harkness was set for release in Winter 2023/24, but the show, now going under the Agatha: Darkhold Diaries title, has since moved to Fall 2024.
Additionally, Echo, which was originally set to debut as Phase 5’s second of six Disney+ shows in Summer 2023, has now moved to January 2024 and will be the MCU chapter’s third show instead, jumping over Loki Season 2.
The four live-action MCU shows set for Phase 5 releases in 2024 and beyond include six episodes of Ironheart, nine episodes of Agatha, 18 episodes of Daredevil, and six episodes of Echo. Echo is also set to have all six of its episodes drop on the same day, marking a first for any live-action MCU series.
With roughly 34 weeks of content releases between the shows, it seems unlikely they will all make their way to Disney+ in 2024, especially with production on Daredevil: Born Again incomplete and at a standstill for now.
The release dates for Daredevil and Ironheart are now completely uncertain – even with the latter having finished production long ago – having once been dated for Spring 2024 and Fall 2023, respectively.
While Phase 5 was once set to conclude with Thunderbolts in July 2024, that movie has since shifted to December. With several of Phase 5’s Disney+ shows unlikely to be done by the end of 2024, and even Thunderbolts’ December release seeming less likely, the MCU chapter ought to continue well into 2025.
That had already become somewhat apparent when Blade jumped over Thunderbolts from November 2023 to February 2025, although it’s unclear whether that still falls into Phase 5 or now Phase 6.
The Phase 6 slate from Comic-Con had an untitled first project set for Fall 2024 and Fantastic Four planned to release in November. So, it now appears likely the Multiverse Saga’s final Phase will begin around Summer 2025 after Blade.
Most were expecting the Fall 2024 date to go to the Wonder Man series, which was forced to pause production and will now likely be pushed back a while, thereby moving the Phase 6 start to around late Spring to early Summer 2025.
But even that relies on the ongoing Hollywood strikes closing out in the not-too-distant future and not pushing these projects back even further. It also appears the Phase 5 line-up has expanded, with Deadpool 3 currently dated for May 2024 and now coming before two of the slate’s original movies.
Every Movie and Show Expected to Release in MCU Phase 6
The Phase 6 slate currently remains a mystery, with only Fantastic Four, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and Avengers: Secret Wars officially announced for the slate.
The timeline showcased at 2022’s San Diego Comic-Con left eight spaces for unannounced projects, one of which will go to Wonder Man. As the studio has claimed three 2026 release dates for February 13, July 26, and November 6, that would point to four more Disney+ series to join the roster.
With regard to the three movies, Don Cheadle’s Iron Man spin-off Armor Wars is all but certain to claim one of them, with the other two likely to go to Shang-Chi 2 and Doctor Strange 3, both of which reportedly arrive in this saga, leaving Eternals 2 pushed past Secret Wars into the next saga.
Additionally, Spider-Man 4 is expected to arrive at some point in Phase 6, although that wouldn’t be included in the slate revealed by Marvel Studios as that will be distributed by Sony Pictures, even though it fits into the MCU. Based on current predictions, the movie could hit on June 27, 2025.
Turning attention to the four Disney+ series likely to claim those slots, Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight Season 2 both seem like a no-brainer, along with the Vision Quest spin-off to WandaVision in development. The fourth show is really anyone’s guess for now, but She-Hulk Season 2 could be one option.
Obviously, many are wondering what will become of Deadpool 3 as it was committed from the original slate announcement, but the placement of its release would point to it joining the Phase 5 slate as a late addition.
Then again, the lines between MCU Phases have certainly become blurred over recent years, with no clear separation in storylines between the chapters in the Multiverse Saga as there was in the Infinity Saga.
One has to wonder whether that lack of build-up in several-year periods may have factored into the reduced interest in the larger MCU storyline. After all, while a new Avengers blockbuster may have once only been around three years apart, the wait between Endgame and The Kang Dynasty will be about seven years.
The first officially dated Phase 6 project is Fantastic Four, which hits theaters on May 2, 2025.