Marvel has reportedly reshuffled its release schedule again – and, this time, its the studio’s Disney Plus TV series line-up that’s been significantly impacted.
Per The Hollywood Reporter (THR), every Marvel TV show – apart from I Am Groot season 2 and Loki season 2, which keep their September 6 and October 6 release slots – has been bumped into 2024. That includes Echo, which was set to arrive in late November.
Marvel hasn’t officially commented on THR’s report, but the outlet has accurately broken news surrounding the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) on numerous occasions in the past. We’ve reached out to Marvel and Disney for a response and we’ll update this article if we hear back.
MCU fans had been gearing up for a bumper crop of superhero-centric series from October onwards. As well as the aforementioned trio, Marvel was deep in development on no fewer than nine other TV shows. The bulk of those are expected to make up Marvel Phase 5‘s TV slate and, while that remains the case, we may not see some of them until 2025 at the earliest.
Of that group, animated offerings What If…? season 2 and X-Men 97, plus live-action series Agatha: Coven of Chaos (rumored to be retitled Agatha: Darkhold Diaries) and Ironheart are the furthest along in their development. The first three are now believed to be launching sometime in early 2024. However, Ironheart has seemingly been dropped from Marvel’s TV slate entirely, though MCU leaker CanWeGetSomeToast suggests it’s been pushed to tie it closer to upcoming MCU movie Armor Wars, which is yet to begin filming.
According to THR, work on other highly anticipated Marvel TV shows, including Daredevil: Born Again, has been postponed. That’s down to the writers and actors strikes that have brought Hollywood to a standstill. With no end in sight on this industrial action, the likes of Daredevil might not join one of the world’s best streaming services for another 18 months – and that’s being optimistic.
A striking impact on Disney Plus’ release schedule
With the writers and actors strikes forcing numerous film and TV productions to shut down, the world’s biggest entertainment firms are having to re-evaluate their content release strategies. That includes Disney, which had already begun to alter its launch plans by deciding not to move forward with two non-Marvel live-action shows – The Spiderwick Chronicles and Nautilus – as recently as August 28.
Marvel’s TV line-up won’t be affected in the same way. After all, despite the problems it’s faced recently, such as the strong negative reaction to Phase 5 projects like Secret Invasion and Ant-Man 3, the MCU is still incredibly popular. Disney, then, would be silly to cancel any in-development MCU offerings, including potential follow-ups to some of the best Disney Plus shows around.
That said, Disney isn’t averse to making big calls that are in its best interests. The entertainment behemoth’s decision to delay many of Marvel’s upcoming TV shows is simply a way to spread out its most popular content amid the ongoing strikes. Why release them all as soon as possible when you’ll eventually run out of said content and run the risk of losing subscribers? Disney knows it can withhold content and then drip-feed them to its fanbase as and when necessary, thus bypassing one of the big issues – the aforementioned fear of running out of content – while the industrial action continues.
It’s not a move that’ll sit well with many, but Disney will argue these release schedule changes are unavoidable amid the strikes. We’ll find out if it’s the right move to have made if Disney Plus’ release slate continues to deliver acclaimed shows regularly to its userbase, as well as if said users stick around for the long haul. That’s if the upcoming Disney Plus price hikes don’t cause a downturn in the number of subscribers first.