“Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good” How Marvel is Dealing with COVID-19


Leah S.V.

*WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home


The COVID-19 pandemic has put almost everything on hold, weddings, birthdays, graduations, and so much more. Among these events and productions, the film and television industries, who unlike most businesses are unable to work from home, have been impacted greatly. Despite COVID, Marvel, one of the most successful movie studios, has been getting very creative.

After the huge successes of Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home in 2019, Marvel was ready to hit the ground running with phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). They started off with Black Widow, The Eternals, and the untitled third Spider-Man film, along with the Disney+ shows, WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki. But all of that was put on hold when the pandemic hit, and now in November, these projects have only just begun to start or resume shooting. 

Spider-Man 3 was originally supposed to release on November 5th, 2021 and is the untitled third part to the MCU version of Peter Parker’s story. It has only just begun filming. The only information the public has available is that this film has begun production in Queens, NY, and Atlanta, GA, with the main actors being Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Zendaya (MJ), and Jacob Batalon (Ned Leeds). Although movie studios have begun filming, Marvel and Sony have been taking safety very seriously. However, if COVID safety protocols had not been followed, it would have been easier to start production much sooner and keep the original release date. There have been many reports from the two studios on how they are making sure production is as safe as possible. Regular COVID tests for actors, set workers, and even extras have been mandated.

Sony in particular has assured fans that their production will be as safe as possible. The studio unveiled new technology which allows them to film an actor in one place and then insert them into another scene digitally. There is also technology being used that allows actors to be scanned into a visual effects (VFX) system. This system will “add make-up, costumes, or other looks to the cast members for their appearances in character,” says Comicbook.com’s Brandon Davis. “Part of the reason for this new technology being used is to help keep production running smoothly during the COVID pandemic,” Davis states. This new system conforms to current social norms, and keeps actors contained in order to avoid spreading the virus. The company will face major challenges if an actor or crew member tests positive and then spreads the virus to the rest of the production team, thus delaying the movie further and putting lives in danger.

Marvel wants to wait out the virus and release their films once they can be seen in theatres. Black Widow has been held off Disney+ even though it is ready to stream. Marvel hopes for a release in theaters next May, almost exactly a year after it’s intended opening. 

Viewers can take comfort in the fact that bigger studios such as Marvel and Sony are still taking the safety of their staff very seriously. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, these companies are working to give the public the movies and TV shows they expect, while keeping everyone safe.