It is official. 2020 is the first time in eleven years theaters will go without a Marvel film as Black Widow has been delayed again.
According to Fandango’s Erik Davis, the film — and a number of other Disney releases — have been rescheduled. Black Widow will now debut on May 7th, 2021 (a year later than planned). The other Marvel films in various states of production will shift accordingly, with Eternals moving to November 5th, 2021. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will now arrive before Eternals on July 9th, 2021.
Curiously, the 20th Century Studios legacy picture The King’s Man will come out slightly earlier than planned by taking Eternals’s February 12th, 2021 slot.
JUST IN: Disney pushes #BlackWidow to May 2021 & #Eternals to November 2021. #ShangChi moves to July 2021. #DeathOnTheNile is pushed to December 2020, while #WestSideStory moves to December 2021. See full list below. pic.twitter.com/VxEBkjRCvE
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) September 23, 2020
At the moment, the other Marvel Phase 4 films are still holding their current release dates; granted they shifted once already when Black Widow was delayed from its original release date. Presumably, they may all slide again as film and television production slowly starts up. Production on Thor: Love and Thunder is expected to begin early next year, but it is unclear how quickly Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness will be up to speed. And as timing is everything, the third MCU Spider-Man film may also change dates.
Looking ahead to Phase 5, some changes are already clear as James Gunn‘s new commitment to the Peacemaker HBO Max television series means Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is still a ways off. And then — as grim as it is to think about — the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman means Black Panther 2 will be delayed to rethink the film, if not removed from the schedule entirely.
But a shift like this puts the other remaining 2020 tentpole releases in the spotlight. Will Dune and Wonder Woman 1984 hold their December slots? Will James Bond defend November by his lonesome? As we’re constantly reminded, this is a weird and often sad year. And though they were all made before the pandemic, the delay of these films reflects the mood of the world.