Black Widow will 100% be the next movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That certainty wavers, however, when you try and guess when it’s actually going to be released.
After multiple delays due to covid-19, the Scarlet Johansson vehicle is currently scheduled for release on May 7. And though Disney has released major theatrical releases like Soul, Mulan, and Raya and the Last Dragon onto the Disney+ streaming service, every indication is that Black Widow will not that take that route. It’ll be a theatrical release.
Unless it isn’t.
In a new interview, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the decision on how to release Black Widow, and all of the rest of Disney’s upcoming films, will be made at the “last minute.”
“Our situation and our conditions change,” Chapek said to CNBC (via Deadline). “Just a few weeks ago, theatres 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.”
Of course, Chapek is correct that theatres in the two biggest moviegoing markets have begun to reopen, albeit with limited capacity. What Disney and other studios will wait for is to see if audiences actually return to fill those theatres up. That will gradually happen, as covid-19 vaccines continue to be distributed, but there’s no way to predict any kind of timeline.
As that plays out, Widow and all the other films have a plethora of options. Disney can release the films only in theatres, only on Disney+ (Soul did this but it’s the least likely options), simultaneously on both platforms with Disney+ Premier Access (like the studio did with Mulan and Raya), or even mirror Paramount’s strategy, which is theatrical release only, with a very quick turnaround onto streaming. If anything, that last option sounds like the most plausible one for Disney going into the summer.
Whenever it opens, you’ll be able to read all about Black Widow here.