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‘Black Widow’ will be released on Disney+

Disney announced a slew of changes to its coming release schedule.

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.” The film will launch simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ through Premier Access in most Disney+ markets on Friday, July 9, 2021.
Marvel Studios, Disney via Associated Press

Disney announced Tuesday afternoon that “Black Widow” will launch simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ through Premier Access in most Disney+ markets on Friday, July 9.

Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, said in a statement:

  • “Today’s announcement reflects our focus on providing consumer choice and serving the evolving preferences of audiences. By leveraging a flexible distribution strategy in a dynamic marketplace that is beginning to recover from the global pandemic, we will continue to employ the best options to deliver The Walt Disney Company’s unparalleled storytelling to fans and families around the world.”

The announcement came as Disney also announced several changes to its schedule.

  • “Cruella” — like “Black Widow” — will launch in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on Friday, May 28.
  • Pixar’s “Luca” will stream directly on Disney+ beginning Friday, June 18.

Other major changes to the theatrical release schedule include:

  • “Free Guy” will debut on Aug. 13, 2021.
  • “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” has been moved to Sept. 3, 2021.
  • “The King’s Man” has been moved to Dec. 22, 2021.
  • “Deep Water” will be released on Jan. 14, 2022.
  • “Death on the Nile” has been switched to Feb. 11, 2022.

Context

There has been confusion for months about whether “Black Widow” would debut in theaters or through Disney+ because of the coronavirus pandemic. The film was originally supposed to be released May 1, 2020, before the coronavirus outbreak led to movie theater closures.

Most recently, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the decision of whether to release “Black Widow” exclusively in movie theaters will be made “last minute.”

  • “Our situation and our conditions change,” he said. “Just a few weeks ago, theaters in New York and Los Angeles weren’t even open. Now, all of a sudden they’re open, so we’re waiting to see how prospective theatergoers respond to these reopenings. We’re going to remain flexible. We’ll make the call probably at the last minute in terms of how these films come to market, whether it’s ‘Black Widow’ or any other title.”

Upcoming Marvel film schedule

Disney shared a full schedule for the upcoming Marvel feature films:

  • “Black Widow” — July 9, 2021
  • “Shang-Chi” — Sept. 3, 2021
  • “Eternals”— Nov. 5, 2021
  • “Spiderman 3” — Dec. 17, 2021
  • “Doctor Strange 2” — March 25, 2022
  • “Thor 4” — May 6, 2022
  • “Black Panther 2” — July 8, 2022
  • “Untitled Marvel film” — Oct. 7, 2022
  • “Captain Marvel 2” — Nov. 11, 2022