Avengers: Secret Wars, Blade, And Fantastic Four Get New Release Dates As Disney Shuffles Calendar

We all assumed that "Blade" was not going to make its initial November 2023 release. However, what we likely didn't expect was that several other Marvel Studios releases were getting pushed back, as well. Disney just updated their upcoming release calendar, and there are quite a few buzzy projects getting delayed.

The aforementioned "Blade," which currently does not have a director at the helm after Bassam Tariq left last month, is now slated to release on September 6, 2024. This was probably for the best anyways, as it will give Disney more time to both retool its script and find a new director for the long-gestating project starring Mahershala Ali.

The half-human vampire hunter is not the only notable Marvel character to have his film delayed. "Fantastic Four," which will now be directed by "WandaVision" director Matt Shakman, will now release three months later than expected on February 14, 2025. "Avengers: Secret Wars," which recently brought on "Loki" writer Michael Waldron as screenwriter, will also see a significant delay, and is now scheduled to arrive on May 1, 2026.

These aren't the only Marvel movies to have been hit with delays. The third installment of the "Deadpool" franchise has been delayed by two months for a new release date of November 8, 2024, and a yet-unannounced project has been moved to November 7, 2025. It also appears that one Marvel movie has been canceled, as an untitled entry slated for 2026 has been removed from the calendar.

Spreading out releases

You might be asking yourself, what about non-Marvel releases? Searchlight Pictures' "Chevalier," which recently had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, will arrive in theaters on April 7, 2023. The recently-announced "A Haunting in Venice," the third movie in Kenneth Branagh's Hercule Poirot series, is scheduled for release on September 15, 2023. Finally, the anticipated "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes" is slated to arrive on May 24, 2024.

These new dates are pretty interesting, and likely a good move on behalf of Marvel Studios. Let's face it; there is just too much Marvel being released right now, and this has been a consistent problem for the past couple of years. Fans just have to watch too much in order to stay invested in the franchise's overarching story. While the actual intent of these delays is unknown, it's possible they are reducing the number of movies and television shows they release in a year, focusing more on making satisfying movies. At least, we hope that's why all of these delays have occurred.