As movie premieres started falling like dominos from the effects of the coronavirus, Marvel Studios tried to hold strong on keeping Black Widow on a path to the big screen. But as the situation deteriorated and theater chains began closing, the writing was on the wall. Black Widow‘s release date was toast.
As the monumental decision was made to shelve the Scarlett Johansson spy thriller until an undetermined date, question marks began to swirl around what would happen to the rest of the MCU films with many assuming that The Eternals could see its November release pushed back to make room for Black Widow. However, a source close to Marvel has told Variety that this decision will affect “nothing on the MCU timeline,” but what that statement means is a brand new source of confusion:
It was not clear if the implication was that “Widow” will see the light of day before August, or that the film is inconsequential to Phase Four, or if the source has a tesseract.
But if “Black Widow” opens after “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” debuts, does that begin to break down the carefully calibrated sequence of events? Will “Eternals” be like the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies and stand more apart from the rest of the MCU, or was “Black Widow” and “Falcon” supposed to feed into that film? Will “Eternals” even make its November release date if post-production also gets halted? And if production of “Doctor Strange 2” gets postponed, how will that affect the planned “Spider-Man” sequel for 2021 co-produced by Sony and Marvel?
Considering that Marvel has been forced to halt production on all three of its Disney+ shows (The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Wandavision, and Loki), Variety‘s concerns are warranted. Unless, of course, Black Widow and the Disney+ shows are not as deeply connected to the MCU as they’ve been advertised. In which case, good news for the Marvel train running on schedule, but bad news for fans who want to believe Kevin Feige the next time he pumps up a crowd at Comic-Con.