The year 2020 hasn’t been anybody’s best ever, what with the election, the public health crisis, and that The Grudge remake that came out back in January. Adding to the public’s woes: For the first time in a decade, we’ve gone more than a year without seeing a new addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With the release date for Black Widow pushed back following widespread theatre closures in American markets, the MCU‘s next scheduled entry looked to be The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, a tentpole series following the eponymous duo’s adventures post-Endgame. Originally set to drop on Disney+ in August of 2020, the show was pushed back when filming shut down due to COVID-19. Production resumed earlier this year — the studio is currently shooting for release sometime in 2021 — but star Anthony Mackie has shared some less than glowing reviews from the set.
It all happened during an ET interview promoting Mackie’s upcoming movie Synchronic. Right off the bat, the 42-year-old actor seemed unenthusiastic. Asked how he was doing, he responded: “I’m stuck in Europe, but I’m good.” “I don’t know if I would say you’re stuck in Europe,” replied host Nischelle Turner, trying to turn a frown upside down. “You’re doing something pretty good in Europe.” No,” Mackie retorted. “There’s no football. I missed LeBron win(ning) the championship. It’s crawfish season. I’ve got all kind of problems going on.”
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As unimaginably dismal as it might sound to miss crawdad season, the most magical season of all, the descriptions got bleaker when Mackie began talking about what life was like on set. Post-COVID wellness guidelines sound like they’ve taken a toll.
“Everybody’s very afraid of each other. The food is bad because they have to pack it up somewhere else and bring it to us in Ziploc bags. Yeah, it’s awful,” Mackie said. “You’re literally living in quarantine. It’s not like the NBA bubble where they had a barbershop and friends to hang out with. No, if you get within six feet of somebody, there’s some little Czech dude coming and poking you with a stick saying, ‘You have to move.’ So, it’s rough.”
It’s unquestionable that the global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that big-budget productions have moved forward in the last year. Already-completed films like Wonder Woman 1984 and James Bond‘s Spectre follow-up No Time to Die have been pushed back to next year, while movies and shows scheduled to shoot during 2020 have seen months-long delays before returning to a new normal on set. Filming on Matt Reeves‘ The Batman was put on hold for months, only to be shut down again in September after a positive on-set COVID diagnosis. Production on Riverdale, Supergirl, and even Days of Our Lives was paused earlier this year.
For now, Marvel fans still have WandaVision to look forward to — it’s slated for release before the end of the year.