Needless to say, Marvel Studios was incredibly lucky that a worldwide pandemic came during the time when there was already a substantial gap in between releases.
In a recent article with the New York Times, Marvel CCO Kevin Feige revealed that even with the delays forced on the MCU’s release schedule by the pandemic, the carefully planned master narrative was not affected. Feige makes it clear that, had projects like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War been delayed ahead of the release of Avengers: Endgame, Disney and Marvel Studios would’ve had “a bigger headache” on their hands:
“If the run we had in 2018 and 2019 had gotten disrupted this way, in the buildup to ‘Endgame,’ it would have been a bigger headache. With these projects, it worked well.”
The producer adds that the new releases in Phase 4 were only shifted by “a matter of weeks.”
None of the Disney+ shows announced in 2019 had specific release dates until recently: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was initially set to debut in Fall 2020 while WandaVision had a Spring 2021 release date when first announced. These shows would’ve been nestled before and after the theatrical releases for Black Widow in May and Eternals in November before everything was pushed into 2021