How Marvel Just Made History Again When They Pushed Back ‘Black Widow’ and ‘The Eternals’

Marvel is officially pushing back premiere dates for Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With movie theaters around the world closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the studio just announced that Black Widow will now premiere in November, a date that was previously slated for The Eternals. Fans were pretty heartbroken over the announcement, which turned out to be a historic move on Marvel’s part.

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

Disney confirms major Phase 4 delays

Marvel confirmed that Black Widow will be delayed a few weeks ago. Since then, fans have been speculating about how the delay might affect other projects. Unfortunately, the studio confirmed everyone’s worse fears this week.

With Black Widow pushed to November, every project in Phase 4 of the MCU will get bumped back as well. Marvel will release The Eternals in February of 2021, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in May of 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in November of 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder in February of 2022.

The good news is that the studio finally announced a release date for Captain Marvel 2. Brie Larson’s second outing as Carol Danvers will open in theaters in July of 2022, a few months after the release of Black Panther 2.

Marvel has not revealed any projects beyond Captain Marvel 2, but it is good to know when Larson will return to action (assuming there are no further delays).

What about Marvel’s Disney+ shows?

Several upcoming Marvel television shows have been delayed amid the pandemic. This includes filming for Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which was going to premiere in August.

It is unclear how the Phase 4 shifts will affect Marvel’s Disney+ shows, but it is possible that the studio will push them back as well. Exactly what that looks like remains to be seen, but hopefully, fans will not have to wait too long for their favorite characters to return to action.

Apart from Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision was set to hit the streaming service early next year, followed by Loki, What If?, and Hawkeye. Some of these projects will have an impact on the MCU, so Marvel might delay them to keep the continuity intact.

Marvel has yet to say anything about its upcoming television shows. Filming for Falcon and the Winter Soldier was still underway when the pandemic forced the cast and crew to stop production.

There is no telling when the cast and crew will resume filming but finishing the first season and completing post-production before the August deadline is unlikely at this point.

Marvel made history with recent delays

Marvel launched the MCU way back in 2008 with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. Since then, the studio has released at least two films every year. In more recent years, fans have enjoyed three movies on an annual basis.

In 2019, for example, Marvel introduced fans to Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, finished the Infinity War Saga with Avengers: Endgame, and gave viewers a second Tom Holland solo project in Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Each one of these movies brought in over 1 billion dollars at the box office, with Endgame smashing records and becoming the highest-grossing film of all time. Although Marvel fans are used to timely releases, the coronavirus pandemic has changed all of that.

With Black Widow hitting theaters in November, We Got This Covered reports that this is the longest time viewers have waited between Marvel films. By the time Black Widow premieres in November, a year-and-a-half will have passed since Endgame.

That, of course, does not count Far From Home as that movie was technically distributed by Sony, which owns the rights to the iconic franchise. But even considering Far From Home, a record-breaking 16 months will still have elapsed between Marvel projects.

At this point, fans can only hope that the things will stay on the new schedule and Marvel will not be forced to make any further delays.