Earlier in July, we got our first Marvel movie since 2019 in the form of Black Widow, which appeared to promise that things were returning to normal when it came to the MCU. However, the recent rise in COVID-19 Delta variant cases across the nation has led to speculation that the studio’s next film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, could be held up yet again. And it’s all Clifford the Big Red Dog’s fault.
Paramount Pictures has revealed that its upcoming family flick Clifford the Big Red Dog won’t be dropping in theaters this September after all due to the increase in COVID cases. Now, Clifford was supposed to hit cinemas on September 17th, which is two weeks later than Shang-Chi is scheduled to arrive, on the 3rd. If Paramount is pulling a picture that’s further away, it suggests Disney may be close to making a similar announcement about Simu Liu’s Marvel debut.
Obviously, though, the studio will be reluctant to take that drastic step as Shang-Chi has previously had three other release dates before its current one. There is another option open to them, of course. As things stand, the movie isn’t due to be simultaneously released on streaming, as with many of Disney’s productions over the past year. But, with this current health scare, they could just switch it to that by-now well-tested release strategy. However, Disney probably don’t want to do that either given how much legal trouble dropping Black Widow on Disney Plus has got them in.
Again, this is just speculation, and there’s been no indication that the studio is actually planning to delay Shang-Chi at this stage, but it’s extremely easy to imagine that Disney execs are having discussions about exactly this issue behind closed doors. As things stand, though, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is coming our way in just over a month’s time on September 3rd.