Black Widow is currently scheduled to open in theaters on May 7, 2021. Does it seem to you like it will? Do you believe our nation’s collective health is trending positively enough to suggest that movie theaters might be open and back at something close to full capacity in three months? Will the coronavirus be under control by then?

While I would not personally bet money on that possibility, Disney and Marvel say they are not yet ready to call it quits on Black Widow’s long-delayed theatrical release. Originally slated to open in theaters in May of 2020, the film has already been pushed back twice, first to the fall of 2020 and then to its current release date. What was originally planned as the official kickoff of Phase Four of the MCU is still sitting waiting on the shelf while at least WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier have already jumped in front of it.

During an investors call today, Disney announced that Black Widow was still coming to theaters — for now. But they also said they want to be “flexible” given the current financial climate, and that they’re monitoring the situation “very, very closely.” In other words, stay tuned.

Disney has already released several movies previously intended for theaters direct to Disney+ during the pandemic. Some, like Artemis Fowl and Soul, were offered at no additional charge; others, like Mulan, required an additional “Premier Access” fee to watch them on their release date. So far, they haven’t tried anything like that with Marvel, and they already a busy schedule of Marvel TV shows coming up, which makes you wonder whether people would pay an extra $20 or $30 for Black Widow when they can watch new MCU episodes every Friday. You have to think Disney is wondering about that same question too.

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