When the news broke that ABC wanted to expand the Avengers film franchise with a live-action series, fans champed at the bit, awaiting what would become Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Now, 10-1/2 years later, even the most voracious of us nerds is feeling a bit hammered by what has oft been described as a relentless “firehose” of MCU content spanning screens big and small.
I did some math (because holiday weekend math!), and since the January 2021 release of WandaVision — the first series to come from Marvel Studios and stream on Disney+ — the longest break between MCU content has been 14 weeks (between the Hawkeye finale and Moon Knight‘s premiere). The next-longest break was the 12 weeks between Disney+’s Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and this weekend’s release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
The shortest time that MCU fans had to wait between projects? Two whole days, from when Moon Knight streamed its finale to when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hit theaters.
And spanning this period that gave us eight movies, eight TV series and two TV specials/”presentations,” the average break between MCU projects has been a little over a month.
But Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige aims to put a crimp in said firehose, saying in a recent EW Q&A, “It is harder to hit the zeitgeist when there’s so much product out there… But we want Marvel Studios and the MCU projects to really stand out and stand above. So, people will see that as we get further into Phase 5 [which launched with Quantumania] and 6. The pace at which we’re putting out the Disney+ shows will change so they can each get a chance to shine.”
Our sister site THR went on to report that the first casualties of this slowdown will likely be the Hawkeye spinoff Echo and the Wakanda Forever offshoot Ironheart — both of which had been officially targeted for 2023 releases, but now likely won’t see the light of day until next year. In fact, THR hears, only Secret Invasion (which was penciled in for Spring 2023) and Loki Season 2 (currently Summer 2023) are sure bets to premiere this year.
Listen, many of us who consider ourselves honorary denizens of the MCU were riding high when in the first half of 2021 we got the 1-2 punch of WandaVision and Loki (with some so-so Sam-and-Bucky nestled in between), especially while still in lockdown mode. But we all learned about the Law of Diminishing Returns in Econ 101. And at some point, more MCU content simply became… more.
Just the other day, when I wrote up a handy “primer” for Quantumania (either for those who never got to Loki or those who plum forgot what happened!), the first commenter groused, “There are so many movies and TV shows now that if you don’t watch one TV show or whatever, and you want to watch a movie, you can’t fully enjoy it.”
So, will you welcome fewer, less-frequent MCU TV show releases? Or were you enjoying that “firehose” drenching you in streamable content of wildly varying quality?
Vote in our fun polls below, then scroll on to review the current release plans for Secret Invasion, Agatha: Coven of Chaos and other MCU TV fare.
RELEASE DATE: Spring 2023
CONFIRMED CAST: Samuel L. Jackson (as Nick Fury), Ben Mendelsohn (Talos, a shapeshifting Skrull), Cobie Smulders (former Deputy Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Maria Hill), Don Cheadle (James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine), Martin Freeman (Everett K. Ross), Olivia Colman, Emilia Clarke, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Christopher McDonald, Carmen Ejogo and Killian Scott
Echo (Hawkeye spinoff)
RELEASE DATE: Originally Summer 2023; now, likely sometime in 2024, sources told TVLine
CONFIRMED CAST: Alaqua Cox (as Maya Lopez/Echo), Vincent D’Onofrio (Wilson Fisk/Kingpin), Chaske Spencer, Tantoo Cardinal, Devery Jacobs, Cody Lightning, Graham Greene and Zahn McClarnon
RUMORED CAST: Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock/Daredevil), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones)
Loki Season 2
RELEASE DATE: Originally Summer 2023; now, maybe fall?
CONFIRMED CAST: The entire Season 1 cast will be back including Tom Hiddleston (as Loki), Owen Wilson (Mobius), Sophia Di Martino (Sylvie), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Renslayer), Tara Strong as the voice of Miss Minutes. New for Season 2 are Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once) and Rafael Casal (Blindspotting)
RUMORED CAST: Katie Dickie (Inside Man, Game of Thrones), possibly as a villain
Ironheart (Wakanda Forever spinoff)
RELEASE DATE: Originally Fall 2023; now, likely sometime in 2024 (per THR)
CONFIRMED CAST: Dominique Thorne (as Riri Williams/Ironheart), This Is Us‘ Lyric Ross as Riri’s BFF, In the Heights‘ Anthony Ramos (as Parker Robbins aka The Hood), Solo‘s Alden Ehrenreich, Graceland‘s Manny Montana, and child actors Harper Anthony and Regan Aliyah
RUMORED CAST: GLOW‘s Shakira Barrera, Rashida Olayiwola, Bosch‘s Paul Calderón
Agatha: Coven of Chaos (WandaVision spinoff)
RELEASE DATE: Originally Winter 2023/2024; now, likely in 2024
CONFIRMED CAST: Kathryn Hahn (as Agatha), Emma Caulfield Ford (as Dottie)
RUMORED CAST: Joe Locke (Heartstopper), Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Ali Ahn (Raising Dion), Maria Dizzia (Orange Is the New Black), Patti Lupone and Sasheer Zamata (Home Economics)
Daredevil: Born Again
RELEASE DATE: Spring 2024
CONFIRMED CAST: Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock/Daredevil), Vincent D’Onofrio (Wilson Fisk/Kingpin)
RUMORED CAST: Michael Gandolfini (The Many Saints of Newark), Margarita Levieva (Revenge, The Deuce) and Sandrine Holt (American Gigolo)
What If...? Season 2
RELEASE DATE: Originally 2023; now, likely 2024 (per THR)
CONFIRMED VOICE CAST: Geoffrey Wright (as The Watcher)
RELEASE DATE: TBA (filming begins as early as 2023)
CONFIRMED CAST: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen), above, is confirmed to fill the title role (aka Simon Williams)
RUMORED CAST: Ben Kingsley may reprise his MCU role of Trevor Slattery
Untitled Wakanda Series
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUMORED CAST: Danai Gurira (“I have been told… that I can gently allude to this possibility,” the Black Panther vet said on The Late Show in January)
Want scoop on any MCU TV show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.