Disney Confirms Black Widow Still Intended as Theatrical Release

The nature of Black Widow's release has plagued the movie world for essentially the past year, after the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the film's debut multiple times over. While the film is currently scheduled to be released in May, even some have begun to wonder whether or not that will be able to come to fruition, given the rate at which COVID-19 vaccines are being administered and movie theaters are being reopened. During Disney's quarterly investor call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek was asked about what the future holds for Black Widow's release. While Chapek reassured that the plan remains to release the film theatrically, the studio will continue to be "flexible" depending on how circumstances evolve closer to the release date.

"As of now, the strategy is to continue on with the theatrical release. And we'll be watching very, very carefully," Chapek said in part.

This approach will probably surprise some Marvel fans, especially if the possibility of the film being delayed yet again (placing it over a year past its initial May 2020 release date) comes to fruition. Some fans have wondered if a hybrid release -- offering the film both in theaters that are able to open, as well as a paid Premier Access rental on Disney+ -- could be in the cards. Fellow superhero movie Wonder Woman 1984 did a similarly-hybrid release on HBO Max, and Disney has used that strategy with both Mulan and the upcoming Raya and the Last Dragon.

While some have wanted the film to be released in a more timely fashion - including some of the film's cast - others want the long-awaited female-fronted blockbuster to properly play in theaters.

“I’m very much looking forward to being in Black Widow if we ever are able to release that movie," David Harbour, who portrays Red Guardian in the film, said in an interview last year. "I would love to be able to watch that movie too – y’know I have not seen that movie. I have seen some stuff in ADR and it looks really good. And also I was there when we were shooting it and I’m really excited about it. But I would like to see it myself. H---, I would watch it on Disney+.”

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In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. Johansson reprises her role as Natasha/Black Widow, Florence Pugh stars as Yelena, David Harbour portrays Alexei/The Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz as Melina. The film is directed by Cate Shortland and produced by Kevin Feige.

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