The pandemic hasn’t been kind to Scarlett Johansson’s first solo outing. Originally scheduled for release on May 1, 2020, it has since been moved to May 7 of this year. The catch is that this release date has been far from certain.
Studios such as Warner Bros. have cast doubt on a return to normalcy so soon, with their highly controversial decision to release all of their 2021 films in theaters and on streaming the very same day.
This isn't a new idea for Disney, as they opted for a similar strategy for Raya and the Last Dragon. In fact, their 2020 releases of Mulan and Soul took it a step further and chose to exclusively premiere and live on streaming services.
Both Disney and Marvel haven’t been so lenient with Black Widow. Kevin Feige is reportedly against the idea of a streaming release model, while Bob Chapek—the CEO of Disney—hasn’t committed to anything.
In the most recent Disney Investor Call, he remained vague in their intentions, instead opting to voice that fact that they remain flexible to the times. However, it looks like their plans might be getting more concrete here shortly.
BLACK WIDOW'S FATE IMMINENT
Update: Not but an hour after this was reported, Disney officially announced their updated plans for Black Widow, which include a Disney+ Premiere Access release for the film. The original article can be seen below.
According to Steven Zeitchik at The Washington Post, Disney is set to announce their plans for Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow imminently. The likely scenario will be a shift to Disney+ on its May 7 release, either with or without a simultaneous theatrical release.
Hearing Disney will be making an announcement on Black Widow imminently. Likely scenario: Movie will shift to Disney+ on its May 7 release, either with or without simultaneous theatrical release. More to come.— Steven Zeitchik (@zeitchikWaPo) March 23, 2021
BLACK WIDOW'S TIME IS NOW
It’s exciting to hear that the possibilities of another proper delay are slim. The reality of the current world’s situation is not great, especially for the idea of movie theaters bringing back their prior business and success. The world is just simply not ready.
Especially with something like the MCU, they can only delay their films so much before it has more negative effects than positive. With the stories Feige is telling being so connected and constantly moving, things can only be held off so long. Streaming, or a hybrid release, is simply the safest and best option there is currently.
While it's disappointing that Scarlett Johansson's first solo leading Marvel movie is stuck with the rotten luck that 2020 brought, there are signs that it isn’t all bad. Wonder Woman 1984 also had to embrace the new world order, and while it didn’t quite make the money upfront that it would have in a normal world, it did prove to be a huge success for HBO Max as a streaming service.
On top of that, fans just simply want to see the movie. The hype has been sustained for a while now, but that can only go on so long. Especially with all the Disney+ shows on the way, now is the best time to release Black Widow. Not months, or even a year from now.