‘Black Widow’: Marvel Fans Band Together on the Film’s Original Release Date

The Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 was set to kick off in the first half of 2020 with Black Widow. The solo adventure starring Scarlett Johansson has been years in the making. Sadly, Marvel fans are going to have to wait a little while longer. Here’s how they’re acknowledging the film’s planned release date, despite not being able to watch the highly anticipated MCU entry.

‘Black Widow’ was set to premiere on May 1, 2020

Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff was a Russian operative from the Black Widow program turned SHIELD agent. She was introduced in Iron Man 2, and went on to become a core member of the Avengers. After audiences watched the character die in Avengers: Endgame, Marvel announced that a standalone film, taking place prior to her death, was in production.

The film, naturally titled Black Widow, was filmed in 2019, and set to land in theaters on May 1, 2020, in the U.S. Johansson returns to show how Natasha fared in Europe between the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Infinity War. There, she goes on a new adventure with some old pals, including Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova.

The film was pushed back to November due to coronavirus

Everything was on track for phase 4 to begin. All of the Black Widow trailers were released, and Johansson and co. were just beginning to do press in the weeks leading up to the film. But then, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic struck. Theaters shut down worldwide.

While plenty of studios went immediately to the direct-to-digital route, Disney (which owns Marvel) wouldn’t dare to do that with such an important movie. Black Widow‘s release, it was soon announced, was pushed back to November 6, 2020.

The fortuitous message of ‘Black Widow’ according to Scarlett Johansson

Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson | Film Frame/Marvel Studios

Unlike her co-stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Evans, Johansson didn’t get to depict her character’s origin story on screen before she became one of the original six Avengers. But she’s not upset about that. In fact, she’s glad that it took so long to get her own film, because the story in Black Widow is the one she wants to tell.

“It’s a film very much about self-forgiveness and accepting decisions that were made for you,” Johansson told Parade in April 2020. Not only does this reaffirm her previous comments about wanting to make a more “substantial” film, but it sends a message to the fans — what’s happening now can’t be changed. We must accept that the film is delayed and be excited for what’s to come.

How fans are coping on the original release day

Even though fans know Black Widow is eventually coming to theaters, it still hurts to think that we could have seen it already. “Today would have been #BlackWidow’s opening date if it weren’t for #COVID19,” wrote Twitter user @smkrm5. Others shared images and clips from the trailers or jokes about seeing it in an empty theater.

Despite the collective pain, Marvel fans were there to help one another stay positive. A GIF of Natasha saying “It’s OK” to her best friend Clint Barton (Hawkeye) just before she fell to her death in Endgame became the perfect message to share. After all, she sacrificed herself to save half of all living creatures. The least we can do is stay home right now and see the movie in November.