After already receiving several delays, it looks like Black Widow might be pushed even further, proving that the film is as elusive as its titular heroine. The wait for Scarlett Johansson’s highly-anticipated solo adventure as Natasha Romanoff has already been painfully protracted, but with the COVID pandemic continuing to ravage the world, it’s likely that it will be even longer.
According to Variety, via Comicbook.com, the Scarlett Johansson-led, Cate Shortland-directed Black Widow is among a number of 2021 films that are reportedly suffering more delays. It was originally slated for a May 1, 2020 release, but COVID restrictions and theater closings, coupled with climbing infection rates, forced Disney to push it back multiple times. It is now tentatively scheduled for release on May 7, 2021, a full year after its initial release window. Disappointingly, other films that may get new release dates include No Time to Die, which has also been delayed several times since last March.
Directed by Cate Shortland and written by Eric Pearson, working from a Jac Schaeffer/Ned Benson story, the Scarlett Johansson-starring Black Widow centers around Natasha during the years between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. It’s a short time period we have seen little of, one that will definitely give some rich context to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first trailer was amazing and undoubtedly sent hype through the roof.
Scarlett Johansson is rumored to be returning to the role after Black Widow, but let’s focus on the film actually hitting theaters before we start putting the cart before the horse. Disney moved the film from May to November 2020 before settling on its current date. It took the November date from the hotly anticipated Eternals, which is now expected to hit theaters much later this year. Very little is known about that film, and we haven’t even seen any footage from the film yet. At least we have two Black Widow trailers to occupy us while we wait! Both trailers are phenomenal and promise a movie that is every bit as thrilling as we expect it to be.
As frustrating as this is, it does reinforce the fact that Kevin Feige and his fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe architects are committed to putting this film in front of audiences in the most mind-blowing and safe way possible. They know that Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is a beloved aspect of this shared universe and want to honor that by wowing audiences in theaters, rather than send fans to their homes to watch Disney+. Also, bringing Black Widow to theaters will help Marvel recoup some of the cost that went into making the film, rather than dropping the film on its streaming service. Because of that commitment to the traditional moviegoing experience, Black Widow will likely not go straight to streaming like the live-action Mulan did, which may actually end up being a wise move depending on when Disney plans to release it.
As of right now, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is still scheduled for a May 7, 2021 release in theaters, but as the last year has shown, release dates and release formats can change at any second.