After months of speculation amid the work stoppage caused by the recently ended SAG-AFTRA strike, “Deadpool 3” is being delayed by the Walt Disney Company. The comic book threequel has vacated its May 3, 2024 release date and is now set to hit theaters on July 26, 2024.
It’s one of several moves that Disney announced on Thursday evening, as the studio rejiggers its theatrical release slate. “Deadpool 3” is now claiming the slot previously occupied by “Captain America: Brave New World,” which has been pushed to Feb. 14, 2025. Additionally, Marvel’s “Thunderbolts” has moved from Dec. 20, 2024 to July 25, 2025 and its upcoming “Blade” reboot has shifted from Feb. 15, 2025 to Nov. 7, 2025.
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Beyond Marvel, Disney has also delayed its upcoming prequel to its 2019 CGI remake of “The Lion King.” “Mufasa: The Lion King,” directed by Barry Jenkins, has moved from a July 5, 2024 date to Dec. 20, 2024. Additionally, the studio has vacated two other dates — July 25, 2025 and Nov. 7, 2025 — which it had planted flags on for unspecified features.
When the SAG-AFTRA strike first began in July, “Deadpool 3” was forced to suspend production. Now after nearly four months in limbo, Marvel Studios is planning to kick back into high gear, with filming set to get up and running before Thanksgiving break. However, chatter of a potential delay had been in the air for weeks as the actors strike stretched into the fall. Now, “Deadpool 3” represents the only Marvel Studios film scheduled to hit theaters in 2024 — a big swerve as the banner regularly unleashes three or four features a year.
While “Deadpool 3” still has a fair amount of production to complete, it’s notable that “Captain America: Brave New World,” which will see Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson take on the Marvel mantle, had already completed principal photography prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike, though it is commonplace for Marvel productions to require additional photography. Nonetheless, it is now facing a seven-month delay. Meanwhile, “Thunderbolts” and “Blade” have yet to mount production at all.
The decision for “Deadpool” to leave its May release date now leaves a sizable crater in next year’s summer blockbuster line-up. The first weekend of May is prime real estate for studios, usually representing a big kick-off for the season. Marvel has laid claim to the frame in recent years with titles like “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
Curiously, Disney still has another tentpole set for May, with 20th Century Studios’ “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” slated for the 24th of the month, opening against Warner Bros.’ “Mad Max” spin-off “Furiosa.” But with “Kingdom” still sticking to its original date as opposed to moving up three weeks, it seems likely that some studio other than Disney will swoop in to claim the first days of May — that is, if any film can be completed in time to make that date as productions begin again post-strike.
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