The Delta variant of COVID-19 has put a giant question mark on the entire film industry. Companies are still scrambling on how to release movies. Disney in particular has swapped strategies between being in the theater and streaming on the same day to a 45 day buffer period before it comes to Disney Plus. While the company is deadset on making Marvel’s Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Home to release exclusively in theaters, it begs to question whether or not it will change its mind to put these blockbusters on its streaming platform. That decision for the former reportedly must be made between two to three weeks, as reported on Yahoo.
Disney has had its struggles releasing movies. Black Widow broke the contract with Scarlett Johansson, leading to a lawsuit about the duel theatrical and streaming release of the superhero flick. Now with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hitting theaters this week and Disney Plus in 45 days, it could prove that this new method to be the right call. Depending on how it performs, we will see how Marvel’s Eternals fairs with this strategy. That 45-day window gives the formerly mentioned three weeks for the decision to be made.
This affects Marvel’s Eternals more than Spider-Man because it releases sooner. The window is still tight on No Way Home with its December release date, but with Eternals‘ November release cuts even closer. It potentially has some hope depending on theater attendance and the performance on Disney Plus as the company charges $30, unlike some platforms releasing new movies for free like HBO Max has had with Mortal Kombat, Godzilla vs. Kong, and most recently with The Suicide Squad.
No official word has been said about Marvel’s Eternals release. The final trailer was released two weeks ago, and while it gave us plenty of ideas for what to expect with the story, its characters, and how it plays together in a post-Endgame era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, no distribution method was mentioned. It still stands its ground for its November release date, but there’s still no confirmation as to whether it will release exclusively in theaters, or simultaneously in theaters and on Disney Plus.
Until then, we will have to wait and see how Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings plays out to see how it effects Marvel’s Eternals. The first Asian-led installment of the franchise stars Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience), Awkwafina (Raya and the Last Dragon), Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians), Tony Chiu-Wai Leung (In the Mood for Love), Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange), Fala Chen (The Undoing), and Ronny Chieng (Crazy Rich Asians). It is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), who also co-writes with Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984) and Andrew Lanham (The Glass Castle).
Marvel’s Eternals also has quite a stacked cast and a heavy-hitting director. It is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) and written by Zhao, Patrick Burleigh (Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway), and Ryan Firpo as his feature-length debut. It is starring Angelina Jolie (Those Who Wish Me Dead), Richard Madden (Game of Thrones), Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones), Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk), Salma Hayek (The Hitman’s Bodyguard), Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians), Brian Tyree Henry (Godzilla vs. Kong), Ma Dong-seok (Train to Busan), Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), and more. Whatever Disney plans to do, fans can check it out on November 5.