Now that Warner Bros. have finally come to a decision about the future of Wonder Woman 1984 and opted to release the DCEU blockbuster on both the big screen and HBO Max simultaneously, the speculation was inevitably going to start turning towards the other major female-driven comic book movie that was initially scheduled to hit theaters this year.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Black Widow is penciled in for next May, a full twelve months behind schedule, but earlier this summer, there was intense chatter that the studio was considering an exclusive Disney Plus launch that would follow the Premier Access precedent set by Niki Caro’s live-action Mulan remake.
Once Natasha Romanoff’s long-awaited solo debut was pushed back another six months, though, it appeared that Marvel were adamant that the character’s fond farewell to the MCU would be a theatrical event. But insider Daniel Richtman is now claiming that the studio are reconsidering their stance and may yet send Black Widow to the Mouse House’s streaming service.
The noted insider says a final decision will be made within the next month, but don’t be surprised if Kevin Feige and his team wait and see what kind of numbers Wonder Woman 1984 pulls in at the box office before they come to a definitive conclusion. Hopefully theaters will be back up and running at something approaching full capacity by May, but given the current climate, there are absolutely no guarantees of anything right now.
“I hear that after what WB did Disney and Marvel Studios are considering releasing Black Widow on Disney+,” says Richtman. “A final decision will be made within a month.”
At this stage, Marvel are very unlikely to delay Black Widow even further, especially with Phase Four having already been reshuffled twice, but the next couple of months will be pivotal in determining the future of both the MCU and perhaps the entire theatrical business model and it’ll be fascinating to see how things play out.