The heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe can defeat any villain, but they’ve finally met their match: covid-19.
After delaying all its theatrical films coming out through May last week, Disney just announced it would also delay the May 1 release of Marvel’s Black Widow. No new release date is set as the company, along with the world, waits and sees how the spread of covid-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, plays out.
Among Disney films alone, Black Widow joins Mulan, New Mutants, and Antlers to be delayed indefinitely. They join a growing pile of films such as A Quiet Place Part II, No Time to Die, F9, and many others which were scheduled to be released in the coming weeks and now do not have release dates. Of course, most of these studios were all but forced to do this, with the majority of movie theatres across the globe closing their doors—giving them nowhere to even play the movies if they wanted to.
One studio that took a different approach is Universal, which announced Monday that its upcoming Trolls World Tour would be available digitally the same day it was scheduled to be released in theatres. The studio is also releasing three films that were until very recently in theatres—The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma—on-demand for home viewing. It remains to be seen if any other studios take this route but it would be very surprising to see Disney do so. As Deadline reported, despite the delays and closures of most Disney properties, the company has enough money to weather the storm.
Then there’s the other issue, which is that many, many movies in production for release next year were also forced to shut down. So even when the theatres open and movies like Black Widow are released, eventually, there won’t be as many completed movies due to coronavirus delays. It’s all a very complicated set of dominos that will surely continue to fall with more and more 2020 releases.
When Disney reveals a new release date for the first film in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we’ll let you know.