We’re fast approaching what will surely be the deadline for Marvel Studios and Disney to make a final decision about what to do with Black Widow. The feature film Phase Four kickoff has already been delayed by an entire year, but we’re now almost into March and there’s still no sign of the theatrical industry regaining any sort of normality in the immediate future.
Plenty of rival studios have already packed up and fled to the latter half of the year, or even to 2022 in some cases, and as things stand, the only major blockbusters set for release in May are Black Widow, Ryan Reynolds’ action comedy Free Guy and Fast & Furious 9, all of which have been pushed back at least once before. If one of them blinks, then there’s every chance the other two could follow suit, especially when F9 is the only title that the Mouse House aren’t involved in.
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Kevin Feige has remained adamant that Scarlett Johansson’s solo debut will be an exclusively theatrical release, although he did previously admit that confidence was meaningless, and the latest reports are claiming that there’s been some behind the scenes disagreements over how to roll Black Widow out when the call is eventually made.
Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer apparently wants the movie in theaters only, while the idea of a hybrid release that would see Black Widow locked behind the Disney Plus Premier Access paywall has also been floated. The choices are to either keep it as a big screen exclusive, opt for the hybrid model or delay it again, and while Feige is without question one of the most powerful and influential figures in the Mouse House’s employ, CEO Bob Chapek will surely be the one to make the final ruling.