WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s recent success shows that the off-screen drama of 2020 did not let the Marvel Cinematic Universe go to the wayside.
Millions of fans are pouring in at record numbers to see anything that Disney and Marvel put out through Disney+. However, for the first time since the universe’s early days, there hasn’t been a theatrical release in over a year. Despite such a long delay in a gossip-heavy culture, spoilers remain well-hidden.‘Black Widow’s wild ride
Black Widow was already an ambitious project before the world around it made it something far more significant. For one, the titular character sacrificed her life in the last Avengers film. Furthermore, Scarlett Johansson’s character doesn’t have superpowers, a super-suit, or a large bank account. Instead, she boasts a deadly set of assassin skills and the wits that go along with it.
However, when the pandemic changed the entire world overnight, Black Widow’s planned release date became little more than a pipe dream. After announcing an indefinite delay, Disney+ was already planning several MCU-inspired series for the small screen. Still, they never intended for the big-screen movies to make their debuts on the service. Kevin Feige spoke about his mindset at the onset of the pandemic.
“All I can tell you is that for the past three years since Bob Iger brought me into his office and talked about a streaming platform that would become Disney+ and asked us to start working on programs for it. Our long lead plan was to have the MCU and the storytelling woven between weekly episodic big swings on Disney+ and into the feature big swings in theaters. It’s my great hope that that continues,” the Marvel gatekeeper told Yahoo!.
According to The Verge, Black Widow is trying something unprecedented in the Marvel universe. Following in the steps of last year’s Mulan, the film will make its long-awaited debut in theaters on July 9. However, despite the inhibitions, it will also do so on the streaming service. Whether this ends up setting a new precedent or putting an end to the strangest year in recent memory remains to be seen.
However, despite the delays, pre-screenings, and a hype machine around everything Marvel, little is known about the movie overall.
Fans on Reddit had a field day trying to make sense of this. Achieving the impossible
Scarlett Johansson | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
In a thread about how impressive the Black Widow code of silence appears to be, Reddit user u/YanARock commended Disney for keeping many important details under wraps, especially given the high-profile people who have already seen it.
“It’s amazing considering that people have seen the movie already. IIRC the NBA players were able to watch the movie in the Bubble,” they wrote on the site. It’s true. Screen Rant noted that the NBA helped draw players to the Orlando bubble with promises of movies such as this among other significant draws. However, everything past the central plot remains well-hidden.
This has users like u/fourcolourhero wondering if it’s all a sign about the movie’s place inside the canon, writing, “It almost makes me wonder if it’s so small scale there isn’t much to talk about. I want to see this so damn bad already.”
Many others agreed. While Black Widow might not be the heavily-anticipated event that Endgame was, it will be the first theatrical release since Spider-Man: Far From Home. On top of this, the debut will kick off a loaded schedule of Marvel projects that were already scheduled for release and delayed alongside Black Widow. What comes next?
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Marvel fans have already come out in uproarious support of its last two Disney+ series, WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. With Loki and What If? due in coming months, Disney+ has plenty to keep Marvel fans occupied while waiting for the next movie. However, once Black Widow drops in July, GamesRadar notes many Marvel films and series premiere soon after.
From Shang-Chi to Eternals, Spider-Man 3: No Way Home, and two scheduled films in the first half of 2022, the MCU is on track to retake its place as the modern leader box office while expanding that rule further into television, too. When Black Widow finally comes out after a year in limbo, it may kick off the most ambitious stretch of Marvel history yet.
Black Widow: Disney+ Subscribers Can Now Add Marvel Movie to Watchlist Before July Premiere
Disney+ subscribers can now add Black Widow to their watchlist before the Marvel Studios movie releases via Premier Access on July 9. In March, Disney announced the thrice-delayed prequel starring Scarlett Johansson’s super-spy Natasha Romanoff would release in theaters and on Disney+ for $29.99, making Black Widow the first Marvel Studios film to receive a day-and-date release. Black Widow is just the fourth film to reach the streaming service via Premier Access, following the hybrid streaming and premium VOD premieres of the live-action Mulan, the animated Raya and the Last Dragon, and the Emma Stone-starring May 28 release Cruella.
Disney+ subscribers who purchase Black Widow via the $29.99 Premier Access fee will unlock unlimited access to the film when it begins streaming on July 9. Like Mulan and Raya, the streaming service is expected to add Black Widow to its library at no additional cost to subscribers three months after the film is made available on Premier Access.
(Photo: Disney+ / Marvel Studios)
“Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises,” reads the synopsis for Black Widow published on its Disney+ landing page. “Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.”
Set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, Black Widow introduces the S.H.I.E.L.D. spy-turned-Avenger’s found family to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz), and Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour).
In October, after The Walt Disney Company reorganized to put an even greater focus on streaming, CEO Bob Chapek said Disney was committed to theatrical releases but would give consumers the option to watch select films from home.
“We’ve benefited from a tremendous relationship with theatrical exhibition for many, many, many years. As dynamics change in the marketplace, though, we want to make sure we’re giving consumers, who want to go to theaters to experience everything that a theatrical release can give them, we want to continue to give them that option,” Chapek said on CNBC’s Closing Bell.
Acknowledging consumers who wish to experience Disney films “from the safety, comfort, and convenience of their own home,” Chapek added, “We want to make sure that we put the consumer first, and the consumer is going to be making the decision in terms of how they consume our media as opposed to some arbitrary decision that we may make from a distribution standpoint. So we want to look at ourselves as consumer enablers.”
Black Widow releases in theaters and on Disney+ on July 9. If you haven’t signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here. Note: If you purchase one of the awesome, independently chosen products featured here, we may earn a small commission from the retailer. Thank you for your support.
Scarlett Johansson Compares ‘Black Widow’ to ‘Prizefighters Who Have Come Together to Have a Second Go At It’
Following in the footsteps of Raya and the Last Dragon, Black Widow will premiere on Disney+ the same day it debuts in theaters — July 9. The film will be available for $29.99 under a premium access option. The movie is a prequel diving headfirst into Natasha Romanoff’s (Scarlett Johansson) background and showing viewers where she was between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War.
(L-R) David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, Rachel Weisz and Scarlett Johansson of Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Widow’ at the San Diego Comic-Con | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Johansson discussed her journey as Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, noting what fans can expect from the upcoming solo installment. Johansson says that the movie will aim to create a sense of familiarity. Scarlett Johansson on upcoming film ‘Black Widow’
Johansson explained to Entertainment Weekly that “all the fight sequences in this Black Widow standalone come from a deep emotional place.” She went on to note that much of the emotions people tie to fractured or fragile family members throughout time — hope, disappointment, and trust — all surface in the film. She shared:
“All of the feelings that you associate with your family — the disappointment that comes with expectation, and the sense of trust, or broken trust, or abandonment, or whatever — all that stuff, it should feel very familiar, which is really fun…” Johansson | EW
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She noted that the sense of familiarity is reminiscent of prizefighters coming together for another round in the ring. Johansson compares ‘Black Widow’ and its sense of familiarity and history to prizefighters sparring once more
The MCU star explained to Entertainment Weekly how Black Widow builds history and intensity, sharing:
“It’s like when you see prizefighters who have come together to have a second go at it, and you know that there’s just all that built-up tension in a good kind of way, that the audience is like ‘oh yes, this is so exciting,’ because there’s an emotional journey that got them there…”Johansson |EW
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Johansson explained that that feeling “totally kills” and Black Widow manages to capture that same sort of energy.
Now, viewers will just have to wait to see if the upcoming movie is able to build the same kind of intensity. Because Black Widow has been in the MCU for so long and had yet to receive a standalone film until this point, the character has fans’ wants and a ton of hype on her side.