Year-long COVID delays remain the Widow-Maker for Disney…

Due to the coronavirus Marvel's movies are all being delayed by a calendar year...

In the Avengers movies, the Thanos ‘snap’ and its eventual undoing left the Earth minus its heroes for five years… It’s not quite that bad yet, but Marvel is certainly now heading into what amounts to a very real calendar year delay for its cinematic plans.

In one of the last hold-outs for the 2020 blockbuster schedule, it comes as no real surprise that Marvel’s Black Widow solo-outing is once again moving off its allocated date.  Originally due for release back in May this year, the long-awaited solo-outing for the character played by Scarlett Johansson was removed  as one of the earliest changes caused by the COVID pandemic and rescheduled for the first week of November. But as that day grows closer, it’s become clear that multiplexes are far from ready to be reopened on the needed scale for studio profits. So the shifting begins yet again… which will result in Black Widow not arriving until 7th May 2021. This means Marvel‘s other movies will also move. Eternals – originally due out next February – will now not see a release until 5th November 2021. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now hoping for a 9th July, 2021 debut after vacating the date Black Widow will now occupy. (The July date itself had originally been reserved for an unspecified  Marvel entry).

Black Widow – directed by Cate Shortland – also stars Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, O-T Fagbenle, Ray Winstone, and William Hurt (reprising his role as Thaddeus Ross) and actually serves as a prequel, set many years before the character first appeared in the MCU films (though some connective tissue is expected). Given the events of Avengers: Endgame, it is not known whether the MCU will include Johansson going forward with any plans for its ‘Phase 4’ developments.

There was speculation that Black Widow could move to the Disney+ platform if the wait became untenable but the significant move to May 2021 makes that option unlikely so far – though, increasingly, it’s impossible to rule anything out, especially as much the same was said of Mulan before Disney decided to go the Disney+ subscription route now (with a theatrical release as and when possible later). There have been delays with Marvel‘s Disney+ slate, though WandaVision should still debut this year, most likely around Thanksgiving.