After plenty of speculation that this would inevitably be the case, THR reports that Black Widow’s big screen release will be delayed until May 7th, 2021.
Originally scheduled to premiere in May 2020, Black Widow’s release date was first pushed back to November 2020 due to theater closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The additional delay to May 2021 means that 2020 will be the first year without a MCU movie on the big screen in over a decade, since 2009 (but don’t panic: we do still have WandaVision to look foward to in December 2020, a series that is already giving us plenty to talk about several months in advance of its release).
Black Widow‘s delay is but the first domino to fall in the MCU’s movie release schedule:
- November 5, 2021: Eternals
- July 9, 2021: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
- December 17, 2021: Spider-Man: Homecoming 3
- February 18, 2022: Thor: Love and Thunder
- March 25, 2022: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
- May 6, 2022: Black Panther 2
- July 8, 2022: Captain Marvel 2
It isn’t just the MCU release schedule that has been rearranged by Disney in light of diminished theater audiences (and thanks to the fact that COVID-19 continues to spread unhindered in the United States while it simultaneously makes a comeback in other countries around the globe, it is indeed a good idea to avoid movie theaters right now).
Steven Speilberg‘s West Side Story has been pushed from December 10, 2020 to December 18, 2021. And Disney isn’t completely abandoning movie theaters in 2020, as the Agatha Christie adaption Death on the Nile from 20th Century has been rescheduled from October 23, 2020 to December 18, 2020.
Note that not all of Disney’s movie theater releases were rescheduled. Pixar’s Soul is still scheduled for release on November 20, 2020, and 20th Century’s Free Guy remains scheduled for December 11, 2020.
Will this prove to be the last delay for Black Widow, or will Endgame‘s “Five Years Later” card prove eeriely prescient? Alternatively: will Disney finally cave and allow Black Widow to be released on Disney+, like they should have with New Mutants? While Mulan did not perform as well as they might have hoped, surely more people would pay a premium to see Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. reprise their respective roles as Avengers – maybe have the price include a movie theater ticket for when the flick gets re-released in a post-COVID world.
What do you think? Is Florence Pugh the new Widow? Will David Harbour wear a bear suit? Please direct your rampant speculation to the comment section!