Marvel's 2024 Release Schedule Breaks An 11-Year Streak

After the latest round of release date shuffling, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be bucking a trend in 2024 that has persisted since the first "Avengers" movie. With "Captain America: Brave New World" and "Thunderbolts" pushed back to 2025, "Deadpool 3" will now be the only MCU movie releasing in 2024, marking the first time we've only gotten one cinematic franchise entry in 11 years. 

"Iron Man" kicked off the MCU in May of 2008, with "The Incredible Hulk" following in June. "Iron Man 2," "Thor," and "Captain America: The First Avenger" would lead up to 2012's "The Avengers," which capped off Phase One and was the only MCU movie released that year. Since then, however, Marvel has been cranking out two to three movies annually, not to mention multiple streaming series and specials. Since the debut of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, 2009 was the only year we haven't gotten at least one theatrical release, even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes forcing studios to adjust their release schedules, the MCU's 2024 now belongs to Deadpool alone, and while that wasn't originally the plan, it might actually be in line with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige's vision for the future. Feige has spoken previously about a deluge of Marvel content potentially saturating the superhero market, particularly when it comes to Disney+ shows.

"We want Marvel Studios and the MCU projects to really stand out and stand above," he told Entertainment Weekly. "So, people will see that as we get further into Phase 5 and 6."

What's next after Deadpool 3?

Kevin Feige is probably wise to suggest pumping the brakes on the behemoth that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become. Including "The Marvels," there have been a whopping 33 movies released since 2008 exploring various corners of the fictional universe. But "The Marvels" was a box office failure as more and more fans are complaining about superhero fatigue. With the "Captain America: Brave New World" and "Thunderbolts" delays resulting in a total of five MCU movies now scheduled for a 2025 release, the studio has little choice but to slow down.

Still, 2024 won't be entirely devoid of Marvel content in movie theaters. "Kraven the Hunter" and "Madame Web" are still on Sony's schedule, but it's unclear how, or if, they'll connect to the larger MCU.

While Marvel's delays may seem like a setback, they could prove to be a blessing in disguise. Ryan Reynolds has proven time and again that he's a master at marketing the "Deadpool" movies, so giving his MCU debut as much breathing room as possible is likely a wise choice, especially with the long-awaited return of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine. And despite suggesting a more moderate release schedule, Feige has also gone on record to say that there are still plenty of more Marvel stories left to explore, as he told Variety, "it feels like we've barely scratched the surface."