While Disney has been testing release strategies between Disney+ Premier Access, regular Disney+ launches, and continually toyed with the idea of people actually returning to theaters, it seems that a decision has finally been made after months and months of deliberations on Black Widow: it will release in theaters and on Disney+ Premiere Acess on July 9, pushing the film back another two months.
Hopefully, though, this is the last time it’s pushed back — the film was originally slated to release May 1, 2020, but then COVID came along and theaters have been closed the majority of the last year. When Disney+ Premier Access first debuted last fall with the launch of Mulan, the movie that we actually wanted to see use this strategy was Black Widow, which was supposed to kick off Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), a torch that instead fell to the Disney+ Original series WandaVision.
Make no mistake, we still want to see Natasha Romanoff confronting her past and kicking some serious butt alongside fellow Red Room-trained Widows and Red Guardian. The movie is set after Captain America: The Winter Soldier, during which Natasha dumped all of SHIELD’s secrets on the internet including her own bloody, classified past, and it also gives us our first MCU look at Taskmaster, a classic Marvel villain who can copy the moves of anyone he watches and then use their fighting styles against them.
This also means a shakeup of other Walt Disney Pictures releases slated for this year:
- Cruella is still releasing May 28, but as a Disney+ Premier Access in addition to in theaters.
- Shang Shi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is pushed to September 3 from July. At this time it’s still a theater-only release, but if Widow can go hybrid, anything is possible.
- Pixar’s Luca is now launching on Disney+ on June 18. It is not a Premier Access launch so all subscribers will be able to watch it immediately.
- Free Guy, the 20th Century Studios Ryan Reynolds action-comedy, is pushed to August 13.
- The King’s Man, 20th Century Studios’ prequel to the Kingsman films, is pushed out to December 22.
- 20th Century Studios’ thriller Deep Water is pushed to January 14, 2022.
- Death on the Nile, the sequel to 20th Century Studios’ Murder on the Orient Express, is pushed to February 11, 2022.
Are you willing to pay $30 to watch Black Widow from home? I know I certainly am, if for nothing else than the ability to stop, rewind, and rewatch the fight scenes because they promise to be amazing. If you haven’t hopped on Disney+ yet, the price goes up in three days in the United States — it already went up in most other countries after the Star launch — so subscribe now and save!
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