Disney is reportedly not considering making Marvel Studios' Black Widow solo movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, a streaming release on Disney+.
Disney is reportedly not considering making Black Widow a streaming release. When Marvel Studios announced Phase 4 during San Diego Comic-Con 2019, the long-awaited Scarlett Johansson solo movie was confirmed to be the kick-off. Black Widow was scheduled to arrive in May 2020, but that was before COVID-19 became a worldwide pandemic that impacted the movie industry. With theaters shut down most of the summer, Black Widow was moved to November 2020, but that still wasn't a long enough delay.
It was previously announced that Black Widow would not arrive in November as once planned and instead debut in theaters in May 2021. The year-long delay from its original release came after there was rampant speculation that the movie could skip theaters and go straight to streaming. Disney had already moved Artemis Fowl to Disney+ and then unveiled Mulan as the first title to receive a Premier Access launch, with Disney+ subscribers having to pay $29.99 to watch the movie immediately or wait several months until it was made widely available.
Coronavirus cases are once again on the rise, though, and Warner Bros. just announced Wonder Woman 1984 will be released on HBO Max simultaneously with its planned theatrical release. This reignited discussions online about whether or not Marvel and Disney will hold Black Widow until May 2021 and release it in theaters. According to a new report by Deadline about titles Disney is considering moving to Disney+, their sources say that Marvel Studios' Black Widow is not among them and will keep its theatrical release date.
It isn't too surprising to hear that Disney and Marvel Studios aren't considering Black Widow as a streaming release at the moment. The movie was previously expected to be a major box office hit for 2020, and it could have the chance to do the same if the theater industry refinds traction early next year. Although Black Widow releasing on Disney+ would certainly draw another uptick in subscribers, the service has already far exceeded expectations in its first year.
There's also no rush for Marvel and Disney to make such a decision. Black Widow is still six months away from hitting theaters, so the studio can wait and see what happens with theaters and the pandemic in the coming months before seriously debating its future. Meanwhile, Disney+ will get at least six straight weeks of MCU content in early 2021 once WandaVision is released—and there are rumors it could even be nine episodes long. Moving Black Widow to Disney+ might not lead to an earlier release date as a result, so Disney and Marvel can take it slow.
That said, Black Widow not being considered for a streaming release is the studio's mindset right now. If COVID-19 continues to be a major problem across the world into 2021 and theaters aren't in a position to host big enough audiences to support a blockbuster of Black Widow's size, then Disney and Marvel will undoubtedly reconsider this stance.