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Leak reveals when Marvel might finally release ‘Black Widow’ on Disney+

Published Jan 12th, 2021 10:14PM EST
Black Widow Release Date
Image: Marvel Studios

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  • A leaker claiming knowledge of Marvel’s MCU Phase 4 plans says Black Widow will soon be heading to Disney+ streaming, even though the official plan is for the film to launch in theaters on May 7th, 2021.
  • Black Widow was delayed twice during the coronavirus pandemic, fueling speculation that Disney and Marvel might make it available on Disney+ if a theatrical launch isn’t possible.
  • The leaker also offered some supposed details surrounding Black Widow’s plot and credits scenes, echoing some of last year’s leaks.

Black Widow

was supposed to launch in early May last year, but then the novel coronavirus pandemic upended everyday life. Going to the theater was no longer possible. Disney and Marvel pushed the premiere back to November, delaying all the other MCU Phase 4 release dates in the process. The pandemic didn’t just close theaters, it also halted the production of movies and TV shows, impacting future releases.

As November approached, it was clear that Black Widow would not get a proper release in cinemas. Coronavirus cases continued to soar, prompting speculation that Disney might want to launch the film on Disney+. But then Black Widow was officially delayed to May 2021, and we would soon learn that Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) would not open Phase 4. That honor will go to WandaVision, the first Marvel show to premiere on Disney+ — the series will be released on January 15th.

The COVID-19 surge is worse than ever in the US and Europe, and there’s no clear end in sight. Vaccines have started rolling out, but there’s no telling when theaters will actually open. With that in mind, a leaker is now claiming that Black Widow will head straight to streaming rather than getting a regular theatrical debut.

Before we go any further, we should warn you that some spoilers might follow below.

Black Widow is the film many fans asked for ever since the hero first joined the Avengers roster. But it took Disney and Marvel years to make a film with a female lead, and even longer to give Johansson the standalone story she deserved. Sadly, Black Widow died in Endgame, so the story we’re getting in Phase 4 will be a prequel of sorts that will explain some things in Natasha’s past and help us get closure. It’s not quite an origin story, but it’s as close as we’re going to get.

But Black Widow would have definitely netted Disney a huge payday, with the picture expected to have easily surpassed the $1 billion mark at the box office. That’s probably not going to be the case now, even if COVID-19 miraculously disappears by May.

A leaker who claims to have inside information about all of Marvel’s plans for Phase 4 posted on 4chan information about Black Widow, including plot and credits scene details.

The person said that Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) will appear throughout the film, including a credits scene where he’ll recruit a detained Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Nat’s “sister,” to a new government task force called the Thunderbolts. Again, Black Widow is a prequel that takes place chronologically between Civil War and Infinity War.

The leaker also said that Task Master (O-T Fagbenle) isn’t a top-tier MCU villain but that he’s “the most bad-ass.” The villain has different fighting styles, weapons, and iconic moves that we’ve seen before from Captain America, Bucky, Black Panther, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Spider-Man.

Red Guardian (David Harbour) is apparently in the movie for comedic relief, the leaker claims, but he’s a “formidable opponent.”

The supposed full Black Widow plot and its key post-credits scenes leaked in the months that preceded the original May 2020 release. It’s worth noting that some of the leaker’s claims do match those plot leaks. That’s not enough to confirm anything though, as we’ll have to wait for the film to see if the plot leaks were right. The leaker also claims to have already seen the film:

For me it’s not a top tier MCU movie but it wasn’t far off. 8.8/10. They took some parts from Mission Impossible and [Captain America: The Winter Soldier], put some great heart into it and it was just really great. Fun to see the spy genre in the MCU again.

The 4chan leak does give us an exciting detail about Black Widow. We’re going to supposedly know why Budapest is different for Clint and Nat, a line that often came up in the banter between the two friends.

The most important thing in this leak is the claim that Black Widow will go to streaming. Marvel said at Disney’s Investor Day about a month ago that the film will premiere in May, but execs apparently expect the film to go to Disney+. Marvel will likely announce this decision well in advance of the launch, so people are prepared. Murphy’s Multiverse, a source of previous MCU scoops, also speculates that the film will head to streaming, considering the ongoing health crisis.

If Black Widow does launch on streaming and in theaters on the same day, Marvel will match what Warner Bros. did with the DCEU. Wonder Woman: 1984 premiered on HBO Max on Christmas Day, and the studio announced the launch was a great success for the company.

The same leaker said in separate remarks that dead Avengers would return to the MCU soon, Avengers 5 has a release date, Black Panther will be a complete surprise, and shared the purported Spider-Man 3 title.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.