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Marvel’s first big movie of MCU Phase 4 is probably delayed again

Published Sep 16th, 2020 7:40PM EDT
Marvel Movies
Image: Marvel

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  • The first big Marvel movie of the year also happens to be the first MCU Phase 4 adventure — Black Widow, the hotly anticipated new film starring Scarlett Johansson.
  • The movie was supposed to be released on May 1st, but the coronavirus pandemic forced Disney to delay the premiere to November 6th.
  • New reports indicate that Disney is considering another delay, following Warner Bros. move to push Wonder Woman 1984 back to December.

Black Widow

was supposed to be released in theaters on May 1st, but Disney ended up postponing the first big MCU Phase 4 film. It wasn’t a surprise when Black Widow was delayed to November 6th, considering what was happening around the world. Now, more than half a year passed since COVID-19 reached pandemic status, but the world has hardly been able to contain it. Several countries were able to flatten the curve of the first wave, and they’re now bracing for the second wave. Meanwhile, the US and other regions failed to stem the first wave and are still reporting tens of thousands of new cases each day. Needless to say, going to the theater is a nightmare scenario right now.

Theaters did start to reopen, but the lukewarm reception to Christopher Nolan’s Tenet proves people would rather wait and watch it at home rather than return to theaters and risk catching the coronavirus. In light of all that, rumors that Disney might be considering another Black Widow delay make plenty of sense, especially given the questionable performance of Mulan on Disney+ so far.

A report a few days ago said that Warner Bros. was looking for a new release date for Wonder Woman 1984, which should have premiered in early October. Warner ended up choosing Christmas Day as the new tentative opening day for its superhero blockbuster. This seemed to be an indication that Black Widow would make its early November debut, but we told you at the time that nothing is certain. A new report from Variety now indicates that Disney is indeed looking for another release date for the movie so many fans have been waiting for.

Scarlett Johansson has appeared in Marvel movies for years, becoming one of the staples of the MCU. But the actress and the superhero she plays never got the standalone film they deserve. Black Widow died in the MCU before Marvel made up its mind to go forward with a Black Widow project, which will tell a story that happened in the past. The prequel would still have made a boatload of cash at the box office during regular times, which is probably why Disney is still angling for a theatrical release. That and the unimpressive launch of Mulan on Disney+ might convince the company to delay Black Widow rather than go forward with a November 6th launch, or a mixed PVOD-cinemas release. But Variety says that Disney will likely delay the picture, without offering an alternative launch date. Disney is also looking at new release options for the upcoming Pixar cartoon Soul, which is set to open on November 20th.

Disney is supposedly yet to figure out when to launch the film and what the new delay would mean for other upcoming MCU films. When it delayed Black Widow, Disney also had to push back all the other MCU Phase 4 movies since they’re all connected. The productions of several Marvel TV series planned for Phase 4 were also halted due to the health crisis. Those shows would have to be postponed if multiple Marvel movies are delayed because all of these films and TV series are interconnected, and the main MCU storyline has to advance in a specific order.

Separately, others indicate that Disney is still pursuing localization efforts for the film, with a copy of Black Widow having already been sent to India, where it will be dubbed in five local languages. This is seen as evidence that Disney is still trying to release the film at some point in the near future. That’s just a rumor though, and nothing has been confirmed. Should Disney decide to postpone the film again, we’d expect an announcement to happen at some point in the coming weeks.

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.