Scarlett Johansson's solo Black Widow movie, originally scheduled to drop earlier this year, has finally been delayed, moving back to May 2021. The long-awaited solo film has already been beset by coronavirus delays, moving from its original release date on May 1, but pushed back to November due to the pandemic. In recent weeks, however, rumors had swirled that the movie would be pushed out again, especially in light of Tenet's failure to pull audiences back into theaters.
Johansson has played the role since Iron Man 2, with her portrayal of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow making the character one of the most iconic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She's appeared in every Avengers movie and played a pivotal role in both Captain America: Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. After her shock death in Avengers: Endgame, many wondered how the character would return for the long-awaited solo movie, but the Black Widow trailer revealed that the film would be a prequel, reportedly set just after Captain America: Civil War.
Now, Disney has confirmed the movie will be pushed out, announcing Black Widow will move back to May 7, 2021, meaning that Johansson's solo debut in the MCU will now be released more than a year after its initial release date. The move is no surprise and comes alongside several other delay announcements. The release date keeps Black Widow in theaters after many had wondered if the movie would follow Mulan by getting a premium streaming release on Disney+.
What this means to the rest of the MCU's phase 4 plans remains to be seen, but it's clear that Disney is determined that Johansson's solo movie will be seen on the big screen. The move to 2021 gives it a good chance of making a profit (assuming that the pandemic has been mostly overcome by that date). In addition to the appeal of an MCU movie, fans will likely be desperate to see a significant Marvel superhero on the big screen and should ensure that healthy ticket sales ensue. Again, pandemic-pending, of course.
For Johansson and the rest of the cast, including David Harbour, Florence Pugh, and Rachel Weisz, this news will mean more frustration, given that the film they worked so hard on is now delayed by over a year. But it will hopefully be worth it in the end, with fans able to see Black Widow on the big screen at the beginning a 2021 summer blockbuster season that will hopefully represent a return to normal for movie theaters.