The anticipated delay for Black Widow turned out to be even more severe than anyone anticipated as Disney announced multiple film delays, including Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings, and Eternals. The latter of the bunch, Eternals, is now slatted to release on November 5, 2021, even after Shang-Chi, which itself is still in the middle of production.
It seems that Mulan did not perform nearly as well on Disney+ as executives had hoped. Considering the extreme change in date, Disney seems to be taking this seriously with now having delayed the release of Black Widow an entire year, along with the rest of the MCU slate - again.
While fans are heartbroken about this delay, Kumail Nanjiani gives his own reaction to the delay of Eternals.
After the announcement of Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings, and Eternals being delayed, actor Kumail Nanjiani gave his own opinion on the situation and supported the delay, saying it was a "responsible decision:"
Eternals delayed to Nov 5, 2021. Marvel made the right & responsible decision. There’s a pandemic. Nothing is more important than health & lives. I can’t tell ppl to go to a movie theater until I feel safe going to one.— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) September 23, 2020
Take care of yourselves. I promise it’ll be worth the wait!
Nanjiani said that Marvel Studios "made the right ..decision" to delay the release of Eternals and the rest of its slate of films. He concludes by reassuring fans that Eternals will "be worth the wait!"
WHAT THIS MEANS
What is interesting about this delay with Eternals is that the release is quite a bit closer to the Oscars. This could potentially point to Marvel Studios planning an Oscar push for Eternals, which wouldn’t be a surprise after all the praise it has been getting internally from directors and cast. This is not to mention that director Chloé Zhao’s newest film Nomadland won TIFF’s 2020 People’s Choice Award. Movies that are given this reward are typically nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, too.
Zhao's praise towards Marvel Studios for allowing her creative control to make Eternals the way she wanted has also been key in how the movie has been portrayed thus far to audiences. It could be entirely likely that Kevin Feige may see a viable Oscar contender with Eternals, and releasing it closer to the ceremony would only benefit that possibility.