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Black Widow fighting Taskmaster in the air

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The past week's news cycle has been dizzying, as the global COVID-19 pandemic changes daily life around the world. The ongoing situation has also sent shock waves through the entertainment world, as sets are shut down and movies are delayed. As large groups began dwindling around the world, movies like No Time to Die and F9: The Fast Saga were postponed seven months and a full year respectively. And as the situation continues unfolding, Marvel Studios has followed suit and pulled the release of Cate Shortland's Black Widow.

This news comes to us from Variety, and is sure to be a bummer for the rabid Marvel fanbase. Black Widow was set to kick off Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while also providing closure with Scarlett Johansson's title character. Originally set to arrive on May 1st, Marvel and Disney have officially pulled the highly anticipated blockbuster. What's more, there's no telling when it might actually hit theaters.

The marketing campaign for Black Widow has been going full title for a few months now. The movie's trailers were methodically released, and ads about Natasha Romanoff's long awaited solo flick are all over the internet and TV. And between the title character's fate in Avengers: Endgame and the killer cast Cate Shortland assembled, Black Widow really had momentum behind it before being pulled.

While Scarlett Johansson was originally unsure about wanting to do Black Widow, the movie's story ultimately inspired her to suit up one more time as the OG Avenger. Rather than being an origin story or traditional prequel, the delayed movie will be set in between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Natasha should once again be a fugitive, and will be reunited with her original family, played by the likes of David Harbour, Florence Pugh, and Rachel Weisz.

The trailers also reveled that Black Widow should contain flashbacks, and expand the title character's dark and sordid history. Natasha's dark past has been alluded to a number of times throughout the MCU, but details have been limited. And now that the movie has been delayed, fans will have to wait even longer to get those answers they've been hoping for.

Marvel fans can re-watch Black Widow's story so far on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.

With so many movies being pushed back by various studios, 2021 is shaping up to be a wild one at the theaters. There were a number of huge blockbusters set to arrive next year before COVID-19 threw a wrench into plans for the entire industry. So will more be added for competition, or will we end up waiting years for certain releases?

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As far as Marvel goes, I'm eager to see how the shared universe ultimately lands on a plan of action. Black Widow was supposed to start Phase Four, but could it end up being the second or third movie instead? Or will the studio simply shift all of its movies over one date to allow the original plan of release? The possibilities are endless, and only time will tell how the film industry recovers and moves on following the last week.

With Black Widow postponed to an unknown date, the next Marvel movie currently set to hit theaters is The Eternals on November 6th. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to look ahead toward the future.

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