Timed with the opening of New York Comic-Con 2015 to nab some headlines, Marvel made several announcements earlier this week regarding Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A sequel to Ant-Man was set for 2018 and three unannounced films films were dated for 2020, alongside a few date shifts for Black Panther and Captain Marvel.
Unfortunately for Marvel, this otherwise buzzworthy news was followed by negative publicity thanks to a rumor that Inhumans - currently scheduled for release in 2019 - may be canceled. The reason? The apparent feud between Marvel Studios and Marvel TV divisions.
This all happened yesterday. We heard that some people had doubts that Inhumans would never actually release, that it could be continually pushed back or cancelled entirely. Two hours later, Bleeding Cool reported they heard the same, citing the seemingly widely publicized problematic relationship between Marvel Entertainment divisions. Their sources seem to stem from the comics and TV departments, which is of no surprise since this rift may be more apparent now with recent Marvel leadership changes, where Kevin Feige took full control of the film division while Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter was pushed off of movies and now controls the TV, Animation and Publishing divisions.
Fun fact: Every Marvel Studios director, producer and writer I have interviewed in the last three years has not watched Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
This rumor was followed up by reports of it being untrue from BMD, HH, and HitFix, who all claim from their Marvel Studios (i.e. the film side) sources that the movie is still on track. HH however, added that the Inhumans release date is actually subject to change so it could potentially be delayed. If that's true, perhaps that's the source of the original rumor and that Inhumans are simply being pushed back to be a larger part of Phase 4.
Here's the thing: Marvel is not ready to announce any sort of cancellation or delay if there was one - and we don't know if there is - especially not now as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. launches a season entirely based on the Inhumans. With that in mind, no Marvel exec or producer would come out and confirm to the media that Inhumans might actually be moved or removed from the slate entirely.
What do official or high-level insider denials usually amount to?
Let's take a look back to when reports started coming out that Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 4 was in trouble and that Sony Pictures was considering dropping it. SHH and MTV at the time confirmed from inside sources that it wasn't true with "exclusive" headlines. But it was true and Spider-Man 4 was officially canned. More recently, HitFix confirmed with J.J. Abrams that Benedict Cumberbatch's character in Star Trek Into Darkness was not actually Khan, despite what we knew but couldn't report, but that other publications were reporting. Guess what. He's Khan.
If Inhumans is delayed or canceled, however unlikely, Marvel's not going to talk about that just yet. They need to ride positive publicity going into the beginning of Phase 3 with Captain America: Civil War, and new seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter and Jessica Jones.
Inhumans will likely come out though. Its characters are very important to modern events in the comics, some of them even joining modern Avengers rosters. They also have strong cosmic ties and could be involved in future Guardians of the Galaxy movies or spinoffs.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange - November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - May 5, 2017; Spider-Man - July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok - November 3, 2017; Black Panther - February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 - May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp - July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel - March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.