CinemaBlend participates in affiliate programs with various companies. We may earn a commission when you click on or make purchases via links.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe was put in a strange place last year as a result of global health issues. Multiple blockbusters were delayed, starting with Cate Shortland's Black Widow. Phase Four has opened with WandaVision, but Scarlett Johansson's long-awaited solo flick is expected to be released in May. As we get closer fans are wondering if it might end up on Disney+, and now Disney CEO Bob Chapek has gotten honest about that possibility.
Black Widow was originally meant to arrive in theaters back in May of 2020, and was delayed two times as the studio held out hope for a full theatrical run. We're just two months away from its arrival, and theaters in certain areas of the country are just starting to re-open. Bob Chapek was recently asked about the possibility of Black Widow arriving straight to homes, responding with:
Flexibility is something that we've been working against, and our situations and our conditions change. I mean, just a few weeks ago theaters in New York and Los Angeles weren't even open, and now all of a sudden they're open. So we're waiting to see exactly how guests respond, prospective theater-goers respond, to these re-openings. And we're going to remain flexible. We're going to make the call essentially, probably, at the last minute in terms of how these films come to market – whether it's Black Widow or any other title.
Well, that was honest. This is the first indication that Marvel Studios is considering releasing Black Widow on Disney+. Thus far there's been a commitment to bring that project to theaters, although Bob Chapek and company seem to be weighing their options. And it looks like the call whether or not to put the blockbuster straight to homes will made last minute.
Bob Chapek's comments to Bloomberg helps to peel back the curtain on how Disney is making decisions during this unprecedented time. The House of Mouse has had to adjust in a variety of ways, only just recently revealing when Disneyland will open its gates. They're no doubt hoping for the box office numbers that comes with a full theatrical Black Widow release, but it seems that it could potentially still land on Disney+.
The MCU can be re-watched on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
Later in his same interview, Bob Chapek went on to explain the unique way the studio is looking at its various assets. Because while audiences love going to the movies, the industry is changing constantly-- especially over the past year. As he put it,
But we're watching against consumer behavior, and if consumers are happy... we love the theatrical window. As you know, we've had unbelievable success in theaters, and we think it's important to build our franchises. But at the same time we don’t think it’s the only way to do it, so we’re going to remain flexible and we’ll see what happens over the next couple months, because so much is changing; it’s such a dynamic environment that it’s really hard to predict with consumer behavior in the next month as it comes to reemergence, sort of back to the world of normal, and so we’ll be watching very carefully, and will make the call when we have to.
It looks like Marvel fans will have to continue waiting and wondering if Black Widow will still be able to meet its May 7th release date in theaters. As vaccinations become more readily available, theaters are able to open up at a greater capacity. Movies in LA and NYC are finally starting to reopen for the first time in a year, which might be an additional sign that studios can move ahead with major releases.
The extra year of waiting for Black Widow has been difficult for the hardcore fandom, who have spent years with Scarlett Johansson's title character. The solo flick is set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, and should bring new context to her sacrifice for the Soul Stone. We'll just have to see if Florence Pugh takes on the mantle next.
Black Widow is currently expected to hit theaters on May 7th. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.