- The new Marvel movies that were supposed to launch this year were already delayed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, with Black Widow now expected to be the only new MCU film that will hit theaters in 2020.
- Warner Bros. just announced a new wave of delays for Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984, with the latter being pushed back by more than six weeks.
- Officials in several US states have reported new infection peaks, just as the COVID-19 epicenter moved to South America.
- A new spike in COVID-19 cases could prevent theaters from reopening and prevent moviegoers from venturing out to see new releases.
Several US states registered upticks in COVID-19 cases as they have started to relax restrictions. This isn’t the second wave, which many experts have been talking about lately. Instead, it’s still very much part of the first novel coronavirus wave. At the same time, the global case count has surpassed 7.7 million, including 430,000 casualties as of Saturday morning. The rate of worldwide infections has increased to the highest level so far, nearing or surpassing 140,000 daily cases in recent days. Brazil and other South American countries, India, Russia, and the US, are at the top of the list when it comes to daily confirmations.
That’s probably why Warner Bros. delayed two of its summer blockbusters, Tenet and Wonder Woman. Other movies may see similar delays if cinemas are unable to reopen. Considering all these factors, as well as the span of the delays, we can’t help but wonder where Black Widow will still launch in early November as planned.
Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated new movie was supposed to e released on July 17th, but the opening date has been pushed back by two weeks to July 31st.
“We’re especially thrilled, in this complex and rapidly changing environment, to be bringing Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet,’ a global tentpole of jaw-dropping size, scope, and scale, to theaters around the world on July 31st,” Warner Bros. Pictures Group Toby Emmerich told Variety “It’s been longer than any of us could’ve imagined since we’ve seen a movie on the big screen, and to acknowledge Chris’ fans as we count down to ‘Tenet’’s opening day, we are also excited to offer his masterpiece ‘Inception’ in theaters for its 10th anniversary on July 17th.”
The delay for the Wonder Woman sequel is even more significant. The film was supposed to premiere on June 5th, but then it was postponed to August 14th because of the pandemic. The new release date is October 2nd, marking another six-week delay.
Wonder Woman is easily one of the best DCEU films Warner made so far, and we have high hopes for the sequel. The decision to move the movie back even further indicates the growing concern that the pandemic will make it harder for cinemas to reopen, and for people to be comfortable actually going back to theaters.
Black Widow is one of Disney’s most important films this year. The movie opens Marvel’s MCU Phase 4, a new stage of adventures based on the popular comics that will contain more heroes than ever. Phase 4 will help Disney reintroduce hot properties like Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Deadpool, which were previously unavailable. Fox is a part of Disney now, so all these Marvel characters have returned home and are ready for reboots — except for Deadpool, which will stay the same based on what we’ve heard.
More importantly, Phase 4 is the first MCU stage where Disney will intertwine films with limited TV series that will stream only on Disney+. That’s a move that should drive up box office revenue and streaming subscriptions. But the novel coronavirus has affected production on these shows as well. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision were both expected to launch this year, but production isn’t ready. Even if they’re done, Disney would first want to open Phase 4 with a huge bang like Black Widow before moving on to Disney+ shows.
Needless to say, the events in these MCU productions have to happen in a particular order. It’s not necessarily about the MCU chronology, but the way the audiences experience these movies and shows. Captain Marvel was a prequel that we only got to see before Endgame. Black Widow will also be a prequel that’s placed between Civil War and Infinity War. But Captain Marvel had a direct impact on the present-day MCU, and Black Widow will likely be used to tease events that happen after Endgame, including in the aforementioned Disney+ series.
Disney is yet to announce a second delay for Black Widow. The company’s next big release is the live-action remake of Mulan, now scheduled to launch on July 24th. Depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic progresses in the next few weeks, the studio could announce new schedule changes for Mulan. If that happens, they’ll probably address the launch of Black Widow as well.