At the start of 2020, the MCU juggernaut seemed unstoppable, steamrolling all competition to win the box office with each new offering. Mere months later, as the global health emergency triggered a worldwide lockdown of cinemas, the juggernaut ground to a halt. The first casualty was Black Widow, whose release has already been delayed by more than a year. In a new interview with ComicBook.com, MCU showrunner Kevin Feige admitted he is still not sure if the movie will be able to keep its new release date but is hoping for the best.
"I mean, confidence is meaningless in today's world because nobody knows anything. Hope springs eternal. A year delay, you hope would be enough, there's a vaccine out there now. We'll see. I certainly hope so. I want to be back in the theater with people."
2020 was supposed to be the year when female characters dominated the box office, with four major movies with female leads scheduled for release, including Black Widow, Wonder Woman 1984, Birds of Prey, and Mulan. Birds of Prey released to a lackluster box-office performance. Mulan and Wonder Woman 1984 both choose the streaming route.
Many fans were convinced that Disney would eventually cave, and Black Widow would also be released on Disney+ just like Mulan. But it seems, at least for now, the studio is choosing to hold off on a streaming release, and keep to a theatrical release date for Black Widow. In a separate interview with Deadline, Kevin Feige had intimated that he has faith that a time will come when the MCU will resume its dominance of the theater business.
"If I had a crystal ball, I'd look into it and tell you [about the future of cinemas]. I don't. All I can tell you is that for the past three years since Bob Iger brought me into his office and talked about a streaming platform that would become Disney+ and asked us to start working on programs for it. Our long lead plan was to have the MCU and the storytelling woven between weekly episodic big swings on Disney+ and into the feature big swings in theaters. It's my great hope that that continues. Don't ask me week by week what is going to happen in this world, I have no idea and don't want to guess. Everything we've done at Marvel Studios has been based in "Ok, if everything goes perfectly, here's what we'd like to do." And until this past year, things have gone remarkably well. And it's my hope that the world gets back on track and we all get back into theaters, and that people will see and experience week by week for the low monthly fee of Disney+ of what we're bringing there, and then be excited to get together with people again in real life and sit with strangers and share an experience on the big screen."
Directed by Cate Shortland, Black Widow stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, O-T Fagbenle as Mason, and Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff. The film arrives in theaters on May 7, 2021. This news arrives from ComicBook.com with additional reporting from Deadline.