Ever since the pandemic changed everything we know about the movie business, delays have become more and more frequent. COVID-related delays have finally slowed down but, now that the precedent has been set, release date reshuffles prompted by all sorts of different reasons are common.
On Tuesday, Marvel announced that it was delaying several films, including Avengers: Secret Wars, which is slated to round out Phase 6 of the MCU. While waiting longer for a movie is never fun, this delay has a bright side.
Before the announcement, Avengers: Secret Wars was scheduled for November 7, 2025. Now it’s hitting theaters on May 1, 2026. Both dates feel a long way from 2022, but the initial release date was actually way too soon. Secret Wars is the second of two Avengers movies coming up; its partner film, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, was unscathed in the reshuffle.
The Kang Dynasty remains slated for May 2, 2025, meaning the original timing allotted only six months between massive blockbusters. Now Secret Wars is releasing a whole year after The Kang Dynasty, almost to the day. We’re in a world where Spider-Man: No Way Home had a successful re-release six months after it first hit theaters, so why would Marvel place two huge movies so close together?
Compare this to the release schedule of the last two Avengers movies, Infinity War and Endgame. Infinity War came out on April 27, 2018, and ended with a huge cliffhanger in half the Earth’s population vanishing into dust. Avengers Endgame released 364 days later.
Now the next two Avengers movies are following in their footsteps, and for good reason. That yearlong gap was essential not only for fans to get excited about a new movie, but to help establish the chronological distance between the two movies. The two films were set five years apart on the MCU timeline, and it was easier to buy that time jump when you had to wait a year to see how the cliffhanger resolved.
Now that there’s a year between these upcoming blockbusters as well, we don’t have to worry about Marvel falling into bad habits, like treating two distinct movies as one chunky story. Infinity War and Endgame may feel like two acts in a larger narrative, but they both still stood on their own as films.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but fans should be excited about this change. The last thing the Marvel fanbase needs is a six-year hiatus from Avengers movies, only to get two shoved out in a hurry. Marvel needs to give its fans time to miss its unique strain of big-budget action, and this new timeline does just that.
Avengers: Secret Wars now premieres May 1, 2026.