Image via Marvel Studios
Phase Five is shaping up to be easily the unluckiest era of the MCU to date. First, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was a critical and financial disappointment, then Marvel‘s entire plans for the Multiverse Saga were threatened over the troubling ongoing Jonathan Majors drama. Sure, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has gone well but now we’re back to the bad luck as a total of three upcoming projects have been simultaneously postponed for the foreseeable.
As you can probably guess, it’s all to do with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) Strike that’s currently causing havoc in Hollywood. Although early word suggested filming had secretly got underway, it was ultimately confirmed that filming on Thunderbolts has had to be delayed due to the strike, with Marvel notifying cast and crew that it’ll finally get going once things get resolved. This makes it the third MCU project to be affected by the strike, following Blade and Wonder Man.
After years of behind-the-scenes problems, Blade looked to at last be getting somewhere, with a new writer being hired just one week before the WGA going on strike meant the Mahershala Ali vehicle had to be put back in its coffin. Meanwhile, Wonder Man — starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II — had begun filming but WGA protests ensured shooting could not continue.
The really worrying thing for Marvel fans is that we don’t know how long the strike will go on for — experts predict it could run through the entire summer, likely wrapping up in late August. If so this would create a huge hold-up in the studio’s production line. Thankfully, at least two other projects were far enough along in the writing stage to go ahead without a hitch — namely, Captain America: New World Order and Deadpool 3, both currently shooting.
As it stands, then, delayed releases for both Thunderbolts (July 26, 2024) and Blade (Sept. 6, 2024) seem highly plausible.