In response to the ongoing industry-wide writers’ strike that started on May 2 and the actors’ strike on July 14, Marvel Studios has made significant changes to its television show release schedule. This decision is in line with Disney+’s broader strategy adjustment.
Notable titles like “What If…?,” “Echo,” and “Agatha: Coven of Chaos” (which has been renamed to “Agatha: Darkhold Diaries”) are among those affected by the rescheduling. These strikes have had a substantial impact on production and development across the entertainment industry.
Marvel Studios is now prioritizing turning each of its TV show releases into a major event for both fans and general audiences. Consequently, they have opted to space out their content, believing it to be a more strategic approach. This move underscores their commitment to delivering high-quality content while navigating the challenges posed by labour strikes and evolving streaming strategies.
Contrasting with last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, where Marvel unveiled its extensive plans for Phase 5 and Phase 6 of movies and TV shows, 2023 is shaping up differently, particularly in terms of TV content, with a total of five shows originally on the agenda. However, as The Hollywood Reporter reveals, there have been notable shifts in Marvel’s scheduling.
According to insider information, here’s the latest breakdown:
- Loki Season Two: The highly anticipated second season of “Loki” is the sole TV show slated for a fall release, hitting Disney+ screens on October 6. This series, led by Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson, delves into alternate timelines, maintaining considerable buzz. Its season two trailer garnered the most significant digital debut for any Disney+ series, while season one remains the most-watched Marvel series on the platform.
- What If…? Season Two: The Emmy-winning animated series “What If…?” is set to return around Christmas Day. Despite the holiday season timing, it’s essential to note that the show is not holiday-themed. Similar to its comic book inspiration, “What If…?” is an anthology series exploring pivotal moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe through alternate timelines. Jeffrey Wright reprises his role as the Watcher, the enigmatic alien narrator. Originally slated for early 2023, it has now been pushed to the end of the year.
- Echo: This spin-off from last year’s hit “Hawkeye” was initially announced for a November 29 release but has been rescheduled for January 2024. Starring Alaqua Cox as a former leader of a criminal organization returning to her Oklahoma hometown to reconcile with her past, “Echo” promises a grittier and more grounded tone than some other Marvel series. It will also feature appearances by Daredevil and the formidable villain, The Kingpin. As previously mentioned, all episodes will be available for streaming simultaneously.
These scheduling changes provide fans with a new perspective on Marvel’s upcoming TV offerings for 2023, ensuring that there’s something to look forward to in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The next installment on Marvel’s TV calendar is the highly anticipated “X-Men ’97,” an animated series that pays homage to the beloved 1990s classic that once aired on Fox. Originally slated for a fall 2023 release, it has now been pushed back to an early 2024 premiere. Early viewers describe it as a nostalgic journey, a true homage to the original series. Additionally, there’s even a season two in development.
Meanwhile, “Agatha,” the spinoff from “WandaVision” starring Kathryn Hahn, had initially been announced for a winter 2023 release but will now grace screens in early fall 2024, strategically timed as a lead-up to the Halloween season. The show, which completed filming before the industry strikes, underwent a few title changes before settling on its current name, “Agatha: Darkhold Diaries.”
“Ironheart,” centered around the ingenious inventor Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), who was first introduced in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” was originally slated for a fall release but has been removed from the schedule due to the strike-induced production challenges. Although filming was completed, the show’s post-production is impacted by the ongoing strikes.
“Daredevil: Born Again,” a continuation of the popular Netflix series within the MCU, was expected to debut in spring 2024 but had to halt production mid-way due to the strikes. Likewise, “Wonder Man,” featuring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, also faced a pause in production. The release dates for these three series are currently uncertain, leaving fans eagerly awaiting updates on their eventual placement in the calendar.
Marvel’s commitment to delivering quality content remains unwavering, even in the face of industry challenges, ensuring that these upcoming series will be worth the wait for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.