Marvel Studios fans will get to see one superhero film in 2021 more than five months early, but the question is which one.
Disney has moved an untitled Marvel movie from July 30, 2021, to Feb. 12, 2021. An untitled live-action Disney release will slip into that summer date instead.
Once a relatively dead month for movies, except for the stray romance, February became prime territory for big-budget superhero features in 2016 with the release of Deadpool, which set a number of box office records for the month. Marvel found blockbuster success this February with director Ryan Coogler's Black Panther, which earned $1.3 billion worldwide.
Marvel has remained relatively tight-lipped about its plans post-Phase Three, instead choosing to focus on recent releases Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and The Wasp, and upcoming films Captain Marvel and Avengers 4, which round out the current slate. The next phase begins in July 2019 with Spider-Man: Far From Home; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is expected to open in 2020. Beyond that, the studio's plans for 2019 and beyond are a mystery.
Studio President Kevin Feige recently said he'll be "less cagey" about his plans for the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe following the release in 2019 of Avengers 4.
“The plan going forward is gonna be about making great film, as good a film as we can, one after another," he said. "How they connect, how they build up, it all goes back to the comics. Comics has done a good job. Infinity War was just one mega-event in the comics in the history of mega-events. So, who knows.”
It's certainly possible that the February 2021 date will belong to a Black Panther sequel, as that frame worked so well for the original. Marvel has also staked out May 7 and Nov. 5 in 2021, and Feb. 18, May 6 and July 29 in 2022.