We’ve been speculating for months now that Black Widow would, eventually, end up being the first big Disney movie release to end up skipping theaters and going direct to streaming. Disney had tested the waters with Mulan, but they’ve resisted giving up on movie theaters. Now though, with WB making a commitment to streaming by releasing Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max Christmas Day, it’s Disney’s turn. Black Widow is going direct to streaming in a groundbreaking release.
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked some havoc on the film industry, so much so that movies are being delayed up to a year, or longer, after their initial scheduled release date. Tent poles continue to maneuver, bumping 2021 tent poles from their release dates, and many movies are simply moving from theatrical releases to video-on-demand platforms. Marvel’s Black Widow is one such movie that has been bouncing around from date to date to date, but now, a “leaked” video may have given fans an answer as to when they can see the highly-anticipated Black Widow movie.
The unofficial video came to light soon after Disney announced it would be shifting its focus from theatrical releases to its new streaming service, Disney+. The studio has already moved some of its blockbusters like Mulan and the upcoming Pixar film Soul to Disney+, completely foregoing a theatrical release altogether. At the moment, Marvel’s Black Widow still has an official theatrical release date of May 7, 2021, but that’s about to change. This video – a supposed trailer showing what Disney+ has in store for its customers for 2021 – features Black Widow. The video also shows that the upcoming series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will drop in August.
The video goes fast, showing a montage of many upcoming movies and their release dates, but it does seem to linger a bit longer on one in particular: Black Widow. When the montage gets to Black Widow, about 16 seconds in, the caption reads, “Black Widow – April 16 (with Premiere Access).” Here’s the still shot…
Premier Access was created by Disney for its live-action remake of Mulan, an extra $30 price tag for Disney+ subscribers to see the movie in September becoming free to all subscribers in December. According to this video, viewers will get a chance to watch Black Widow a full three weeks before it is currently planned to release in movie theaters.
Here’s the full video…
In addition to announcing Black Widow going directly to streaming on Disney+, the video hints at the launch of a new adults only version of Disney Plus.
The announcement of an adults only Disney streaming network comes halfway through a series of clips featuring R-rated films., It’s there you can see something called “Disney 18+”. Here’s a still shot of the announcement…
So, is Disney finally bringing their more mature titles to their streaming service? Possibly so. A more adult-version of Disney+ would allow the streaming service to start showing some of their more mature fare they got when they purchased Fox.
The real question, however, is the validity of this mysterious video. If you go slow through the video, it states that the R-rated Kingsman: The Secret Service will launch on Disney 18+ on March 5, 2021, but at the end of the video, eagle-eyed viewers can see “Disney 18+ Launching April 2021.” Those dates just don’t add up, but perhaps Disney will have more to say about this during their upcoming Disney Investor Day on December 10.
While Disney has said they want to pivot to a stronger focus of new releases on Disney+, releasing a new Marvel film on the service would be a huge step for the service. Black Widow might have a smaller wait time between its theatrical release and debut on Disney+, but as of right now, there are too many questions about this video to take it as fact.