While every movie release date delay is a loss for cinemas, the push-back of Black Widow is a particular cause for concern considering the carefully woven meta-narrative of the MCU. One delay might mean every movie – and potentially even the upcoming Disney Plus series – follows suit in order to keep the interconnective story coherent. So what does this mean for the future of the MCU?
Reports have so far indicated that nothing will change, despite the elongated delay of Black Widow. Variety notes that they spoke to a Marvel insider who confirmed as much, revealing that “pushing Black Widow affects nothing on the MCU timeline.” They added that Marvel Studios remains unclear as to whether the movie will reach cinemas before August.
There are still many, many questions that remain unanswered. Whilst Black Widow is a prequel and seemingly not tied to any ongoing arc, Natasha Romanoff’s solo-outing is bound to have important character beats and will tie into the events of Endgame, just as Captain Marvel’s relationship with Nick Fury became important in the bigger picture. Will Black Widow’s displacement mean that the story told in Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be affected?
Along with Black Widow’s removal from the release calendar, Marvel Studios has suspended production on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, along with the Disney Plus series WandaVision, Loki, and Falcon and the Winter Soldier. All have their specific and carefully constructed place in Marvel Phase 4 – we already know that the events of WandaVision tie into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so if one is delayed, the other seemingly has to follow suit.
There are two options: either the entire MCU will be pushed to keep the narrative intact, or the narrative itself will be recalibrated. This is all new waters for both Marvel and the entire entertainment industry, with studios postponing releases and halting production this past week. At least we have all the already-released Marvel movies to rewatch until more news arrives. You can also check out the best new Disney Plus movies and shows right now.