It's no secret that the ongoing health crisis affected the plans of Marvel Studios for their massive Phase 4 slate, forcing the studio to shift the release timeline for several projects. This required the theatrical films to take a backseat, with the shows under the Disney+ banner being pushed to the forefront to kick off the next chapter of the Infinity Saga.
One of the films that was greatly affected is Black Widow. Initially, the MCU prequel was supposed to start Phase 4, but the pandemic derailed that plan. Instead, the Scarlett Johansson-led project will now premiere a year after its original release date.
As the debut inches closer, fans are still curious if the theatrical release will stick. Now, a new confirmation from Disney has emerged to shed some light on the subject.
DISNEY REVEALS THEATRICAL RELEASE FOR MARVEL STUDIOS' BLACK WIDOW
In The Walt Disney Company’s 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed that Black Widow is “currently set for release in theaters” on May 7, 2021.
The full quote can be seen below:
“Next up is Marvel's highly-anticipated spy thriller, Black Widow, featuring an all-star cast that includes Oscar Nominee Scarlett Johansson currently set for release in theaters on May 7. I know Marvel fans have been looking forward to this film for a long time and I promise you it's well worth the wait. It's absolutely fantastic.”
The quote was first reported by Murphy's Multiverse.
BLACK WIDOW APPEARS TO GO ALL-IN FOR A THEATRICAL RELEASE
While there's always a chance that this decision will be reversed, it looks like Disney is still leaning towards a theatrical outing for Black Widow. Chapek's remarks could indicate that the long wait for the prequel's debut might be more than enough to entice fans to get back to theaters (hopefully).
However, given the consistent rise of COVID-19 cases around the globe, this development regarding Black Widow presents an overwhelming challenge for Marvel Studios. Even though vaccines are being rolled out, there is still no guarantee that the situation will be better by the time the prequel arrives in theaters in May, especially after confirmed mutations of the virus.
It's also worth mentioning that the marketing for Black Widow has yet to start, and the timeline of its promotion should very well begin within the week if the release date sticks. This is based on the previous trend of promoting films under the May release schedule.
On top of that, it was earlier promised by Disney that new footage will be included once another rollout of promo spots/trailers will ensue in the coming weeks, and fans should be keeping an eye for that when it arrives.
Whatever the case, many would agree that the wait for Black Widow has been long overdue, and another delay would've to hinder the momentum of the film. Still, health is the utmost priority of everyone right now, and there's always a chance that Disney and Marvel will both reassess the situation as the film's premiere inches closer.
For now, Phase 4 is still in full swing, courtesy of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and viewers are hopeful that Black Widow will join the fun soon.