‘Black Widow’: Marvel Reportedly Wants to Push Back the Entire Phase 4 Lineup Until 2021

Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson was originally scheduled to hit theaters months ago. But, the COVID-19 pandemic has put the entire film industry in an unprecedented situation. Marvel announced a November release date with hopes that theaters will open back up and fans will return. Now, a new report claims Marvel is considering pushing back Phase 4 until 2021.

Marvel Black Widow
The cast of Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Marvel is waiting to see the ‘Mulan’ numbers before making a decision about ‘Black Widow’

When Disney announced that they were skipping theaters completely and releasing Mulan exclusively on Disney+, it didn’t go over well with the movie chains. It’s no secret that COVID-19 has been brutal for theaters across the country. Disney taking away one of the biggest titles of the year made the situation even worse.

If Marvel chooses to go the same route with Black Widow, they could see even more backlash from exhibitors. However, fans indicate that they would be happy with a premium, at-home option.

Even behind a paywall, Mulan has been the number one title on Disney+ since its release. At the same time, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet has shown some signs of life at the box office.

According to We Got This Covered, Disney indicated that Mulan would not affect their plans for Black Widow. But now, a new report claims the execs are waiting to see Mulan’s numbers before making a final decision about the long-awaited Scarlett Johansson solo flick.

Could more ‘premier access’ content be headed to Disney+?

According to MovieWeb, Disney has repeatedly claimed that Mulan’s premiere on their streaming service was a one-off. But, with subscribers willing to pay $29.99 for access to the film, more reports are starting to claim Disney is changing their tune.

This doesn’t mean that Black Widow will make its debut on Disney’s streaming service instead of theaters. But, Mulan’s success does mean Disney is considering releasing more titles under Premier Access.

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On the Disney+ support care site, the house of mouse has already confirmed that more movies are coming to the streaming service.

“For now we have Mulan, but when time goes by, the Premier Access will be more updated,” a live chat representative shared.

At the same time, major theater chains are starting to reopen across North America. AMC has already opened approximately 100 theaters and offered 15-cent movies to encourage people to return.

Marvel phase 4 depends on ‘Black Widow’s’ release date

According to CBR, IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond believes Marvel will change some of its 2021 release dates. He spoke with Deadline about the future of the movie industry, and he admits the coming months could be chaotic.

“Marvel has something like five films scheduled for next year,” he noted. “My guess is they’ll move some of that around, but that’s a lot.”

The release schedule for 2021 includes The Eternals on February 12, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on May 7. There is also the Marvel/Sony production of the untitled Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel scheduled for December 17, 2021. As well as Sony’s Morbius on March 19 and Venom: Let There Be Carnage on June 25.

However, all of these dates could change depending on how the pandemic plays out. If Marvel pushes back Black Widow for a theater-only release in 2021, it would most likely push back every other Marvel release. It would also impact Sony.

Black Widow is currently scheduled to be released in theaters nationwide on November 6, 2020.