Marvel is known for planning its release schedules ahead and presenting them to fans. Last year, Kevin Feige revealed all of the Marvel Studio’s projects for Phases 5 and 6 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has kicked off Phase 5 as scheduled, but it looks like the movie that will end part two of the Multiverse Saga has changed.
Unpredictable events can have long-term effects on the production schedules of movies. Right now, it looks like Blade and the highly-anticipated Deadpool 3 will be closing out Phase 5 instead of Thunderbolts.
Feige’s original roadmap for Phase 5 will end with Captain America: New World Order and Thunderbolts. Sam Wilson will be making his live-action debut as Captain America while the "villainous" General Thunderbolt Ross will make his return to the MCU in both films, the latter of which will see him lead a ragtag bunch of villains and antiheroes under the direction of Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.
During the presentation, Feige did mention that there may be more films added to the schedule. Deadpool 3, for example, was not part of the D23 presentation. The movie was announced by Ryan Reynolds on social media a month after Phase 5 and 6 were presented to fans.
When Deadpool 3 was revealed, it had an original release date of September 6, 2023. Fans were ecstatic to finally see both Deadpool and Wolverine make their MCU debut.
A week later, it was announced that there will be a shift in the schedule with Deadpool 3 being pushed back to November 8, 2024. The reason for the shift was that Blade encountered problems with production and had to be delayed by several months.
Blade was supposed to premiere on November 3 but it was delayed after losing its director, who reportedly departed the project after "continued shifts in the production schedule."
The Mahershala Ali-led Blade reboot was rescheduled to September 6, 2024, effectively taking over Deadpool 3’s slot. As such, the third Deadpool movie will be capping off Phase 5 with Fantastic Four being moved to 2025 to start Phase 6.
Some movies within the continuity are very important to the greater story while others aren’t as impactful. A good example is how Captain America: Civil War set up the events of Avengers: Infinity Wars and End Game.
Similarly, Deadpool 3 will reportedly be influential as it sets in motion the multiversal events leading to Avengers: Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars. There are rumors that the story of Deadpool 3 will make the greater MCU aware of the existence of the multiverse. So far, only Spider-Man, Loki, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, America Chavez, and the Ant-Man family are aware of or have experienced the multiverse.
It would be fitting for Deadpool 3 to end Phase 5 given that Wade Wilson’s time-traveling antics will reportedly set off the Nexus events that will crack open the multiverse and lead to the variants of Kang invading Earth-616.