As suspected, Black Widow has been delayed once again. However, it seems like the date is going to stick this time around, as Disney has finally decided on a firm release strategy. The long awaited Marvel Cinematic Universe movie will now arrive at the height of the summer movie season in July. But it won't be exclusive to theaters, as the studio has decided to release it on Disney+ via the Premier Access program as well. So viewers will have the choice to see it either in theaters or from the comfort of home.
Disney revealed a slew of release date changes today, with Black Widow now set to arrive on July 9. It had previously been set for May 7. The movie, which sees Scarlett Johannson returning as the fan-favorite member of The Avengers, was originally set to arrive in May 2020. This means it will arrive more than a year after its initial intended release date. Kareem Daniel, Chairman of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, had this to say in a statement.
"Today's announcement reflects our focus on providing consumer choice and serving the evolving preferences of audiences. By leveraging a flexible distribution strategy in a dynamic marketplace that is beginning to recover from the global pandemic, we will continue to employ the best options to deliver The Walt Disney Company's unparalleled storytelling to fans and families around the world."
Disney has used Premier Access for a couple of big movies in the past. Both Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon were made available to Disney+ subscribers through the program. Subscribers then had the option to pay an additional $29.99 to watch the movie. But then they would have access to the movie for as long as they were subscribed.
It has been speculated for months that Disney may, or may not, decide to release Black Widow on Disney+. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, for his part, has said that he is dedicated to the theatrical experience for the MCU going forward. It's possible that the successful releases of both WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier played into the final decision.
Also on the MCU side of things, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has been delayed. The movie had previously been set for July 9, which is now the date occupied by Black Widow. It will now arrive on September 3 instead.
Cate Shortland is in the director's chair for Black Widow. The movie takes place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Specific plot details have largely been kept under wraps, but Taskmaster is set to be the main villain. The cast also includes David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, and Rachel Weisz. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. You can check out the official announcement from the Marvel Studios Twitter account.