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‘Black Widow’ might be delayed ... again

Marvel’s first solo film for Black Widow might get another delay. Here’s what we know

This image released by Disney/Marvel Studios shows Scarlett Johansson in a scene from “Black Widow,” which is scheduled to be released in July.
Scarlett Johansson in a scene from “Black Widow.”
Marvel Studios, Disney via Associated Press

Marvel’s “Black Widow” — originally due out in May 2020 — may suffer yet another delay, potentially pushing it to later in 2021.

Variety reports that “Black Widow” may be delayed again because of the coronavirus pandemic due to fewer crowds at movie theaters.

“As for ‘Black Widow’, expect the 2020 delay treatment should the theater situation not improve over the spring. Since it’s the first 2020s film from the franchise that propelled the studio to a now fictional-seeming $11 billion global gross in 2019, another delay before a last-ditch Disney+ release is more likely to occur.”

(Note: The Variety piece is behind a paywall. You can read the comments here, though).

Context

The movie theater industry has been hit hard because of the coronavirus pandemic. Most theaters are open for private watch parties and limited capacity showings. But big blockbuster films have not been released en masse because the major markets — like New York and Los Angeles — have not allowed full capacity viewings yet.

Why it matters for Marvel

Moving “Black Widow” changed the entire schedule for Marvel films. “The Eternals” will move to Nov. 5, 2021, and “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” will shift to July 9, 2021.

  • Originally, “Eternals” was set to follow “Black Widow” with “Shang-Chi” right after. Instead, it looks like “Shang-Chi” will be released first in July. However, if “Black Widow” gets pushed back again, then “Shang-Chi” might get moved, too.

Marvel chief creative officer Kevin Feige told Deadline that “Black Widow” could be released on Disney+, as I wrote about for the Deseret News. But he’s unsure what could happen.

“If I had a crystal ball, I’d look into it and tell you. I don’t. All I can tell you is that for the past three years since Bob Iger brought me into his office and talked about a streaming platform that would become Disney+ and asked us to start working on programs for it. Our long lead plan was to have the MCU and the storytelling woven between weekly episodic big swings on Disney+ and into the feature big swings in theaters. It’s my great hope that that continues. Don’t ask me week by week what is going to happen in this world, I have no idea and don’t want to guess. Everything we’ve done at Marvel Studios has been based in “OK, if everything goes perfectly, here’s what we’d like to do.” And until this past year, things have gone remarkably well. And it’s my hope that the world gets back on track and we all get back into theaters, and that people will see and experience week by week for the low monthly fee of Disney+ of what we’re bringing there, and then be excited to get together with people again in real life and sit with strangers and share an experience on the big screen.”