It's official: Black Widow has been delayed. As increasingly extreme measures have been taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus, movie theaters have been forced to close and some of the year's biggest releases have been pushed back. Now, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is joining that growing list, as Disney has decided to push back the movie's released indefinitely.

According to several reports, Black Widow has been pushed back from its planned release on May 1. This was set to be the first MCU entry to hit theaters after last year's Avengers: Endgmae and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Disney has also delayed the release of The Personal History of David Copperfield and The Woman in the Window, which stars Amy Adams and has already been pushed back several times. None of the titles, as of this writing, were provided with new release dates.

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This comes just after AMC Theatres closed, along with Regal Cinemas and the Alamo Drafthouse announcing the shut down theaters across the U.S. temporarily. The White House recommended that people avoid groups of more than 10, which effectively forced the movie business's hand in the matter. Other major upcoming releases such as Mulan, The New Mutants and Antlers had already been pushed back by Disney, with A Quiet Place: Part II, Peter Rabbit 2, F9 and No Time to Die being delayed by other studios.

Black Widow was easily one of the most highly-anticipated movies of 2020, as it was finally going to give Scarlett Johansson a long-overdue solo movie. Johansson has been a part of the MCU since 2010's Iron Man 2, but has never headlined a solo feature. Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz also star. The movie was directed by Cate Shortland, making her the first female director to helm an MCU entry on her own. Previously, Anna Boden co-directed Captain Marvel with Ryan Fleck.

One big question is, will Black Widow be delayed months on end until the movie business recovers globally enough to justify a new release date? Or, will the movie find its way online instead? Recently, Universal Pictures made waves by announcing that current theatrical releases, such as The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma, as well as some future releases, such as Trolls: World Tour, will be available to rent for $19.99 for 48 hours from digital retailers. Disney could opt to do the same for certain titles as the situation progresses.

The difference with this title, as opposed to others that have been delayed, is that Marvel Studios has a schedule to keep. All of the movies, and now shows set to arrive on Disney+, are part of a shared universe. That often makes the release order particularly important. Given that Black Widow is a prequel, taking place after the events of Captain America: Civil War and before Infinity War, it may not be as crucial when it comes out compared to other MCU entries, but who knows what secrets the story holds? We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott