The Marvel Cinematic Universe may be thrown out of whack this year. As movies are delayed over coronavirus, Black Widow‘s May 1 release date isn’t just looking less likely – it almost sounds impossible. Disney hasn’t said anything about the movie being delayed yet, but at this point it’s a very hard environment in which to release a mega blockbuster.
Two major US cinema chains have closed for the time being, with AMC saying it’ll be closed for “at least 6-12 weeks“. Regal, meanwhile, has released a statement that all theaters will be closed “until further notice”. In the UK, cinema chains Cineworld and Odeon are closing until further notice, too.
AMC’s timeline crosses over with Black Widow’s current release date, which surely hurts the movie’s chances of releasing in early May. That said, there’s a chance China will have reopened its cinemas by then, based on this report by Deadline .
While Black Widow’s final trailer was released on March 9, the situation around coronavirus has escalated drastically in the US since then. Disney has moved Mulan and The New Mutants off the release schedule, but Black Widow is still a mystery.
Here’s what could happen next with the latest Marvel movie.
Will Black Widow be delayed by coronavirus?
It seems possible, simply because AMC, one of the biggest US theater chains, might not be open then according to its currently cited closure timeframe of “6-12 weeks”. Disney and Marvel haven’t said anything about the release either way yet, though. The earliest AMC could reopen, based on its estimate, is late April. But the longer end of that will mean theaters are closed until June.
That’s why a delay seems likely.
What will happen to the MCU if Black Widow gets delayed?
This is an interesting conundrum for Marvel, but the truth is it’s possible that all MCU movies and shows will be pushed back by coronavirus. All Marvel Disney Plus shows shooting right now have shut down production for time being, which includes The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki and WandaVision.
A Deadline report from March 4 mentioned a rumor heard among exhibitors that Black Widow could move back to November 24, which is when fellow MCU movie The Eternals is due out. That’s come to nothing so far, though, and it seems more likely Black Widow will simply be delayed to an unspecified point in the future.
Coronavirus, too, means upcoming MCU movies won’t actually be able to start shooting, so it’s likely this could have a ripple effect on the entire set of Marvel projects.
When we know more about what’s next with Black Widow, we’ll update this page with details.