The fate of Black Widow has been in question for quite some time.

Originally set to premiere last May, it has since moved to this coming May, where it may not be safe from even further delays.  While some movie theaters are opening back up again, namely New York City and California establishments, there are still lots of concerns and doubts in regard to audiences feeling safe enough to once again return to theaters.

Just a few weeks ago, Disney premiered Raya and The Last Dragon on Disney+, alongside its theater debut.  This is a similar release pattern that it has done in the past with big titles such as Mulan and Soul--though both of those were released only on the streaming platform. 

The hybrid release of Raya and The Last Dragon is not uncommon these days, with HBO having committed to doing the same for all of their movies throughout 2021. 

So where does the Scarlett Johansson-starrring Black Widow lie in this puzzle? Will it be the first big blockbuster to premiere only in theaters, or will it embrace the hybrid release model that is becoming so popular?

WILL BLACK WIDOW GO STREAMING?

Reported by Deadline, Disney's CEO Bob Chapek commented on the release pattern of Black Widow, which the entertainment industry is watching very closely. 

"Just a few weeks ago, theaters in New York and Los Angeles weren’t even open. Now, all of a sudden they’re open, so we’re waiting to see how prospective theatergoers respond to these reopenings. We’re going to remain flexible. We’ll make the call probably at the last minute in terms of how these films come to market, whether it’s Black Widow or any other title.”

DISNEY STILL ON THE FENCE

Many people are eager to watch Scarlett Johansson's first solo outing at Marvel Studios, seeing as it's now been nearly a year since the Black Widow film was initially meant to release.

The film is already completely done, and essentially just sitting on the shelf ready to be watched by the masses. It’s truly odd that fans have so much marketing material for it, yet it still has yet to premiere.

Disney hasn’t been very vocal about how successful their past Disney+ releases have been--but the fact that they are even still considering the possibility shows that they at the very least didn’t bomb. With Wonder Woman 1984's success on HBO Max, it's rather puzzling that Disney hasn't embraced the hybrid release model yet. It would honestly be very shocking if Disney doesn’t opt for this model.

However, if any movie can be the first big movie back, it’s Black Widow, flaunting a top-caliber cast led by Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, and David Harbour. 

Though it's hard to fault them for being worried that their huge blockbuster film--not to mention Black Widow’s first solo film--might not be as successful as it would have been, and should be. One thing is for sure though: with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiering this Friday, the hype for even more Marvel content will be at an all-time high.