Disney has shuffled around its release calendar once again. As announced by Marvel, Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals have all been delayed as a result. Black Widow has now been pushed to 2021, with the other two titles moving further into next year. Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will now be kicking off much later than originally expected.
Black Widow is now scheduled to hit theaters on May 7, 2021. It had previously been set to arrive in November after having its original May 2020 release canceled. The film centers on Natasha Romanoff who confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. 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. Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour star. Cate Shortland directs.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will hit theaters on July 9, 2021. It previously held Black Widow’s new May 2021 date. Simu Liu stars in the titular role as Shang-Chi, alongside Awkwafina and Tony Leung. The film is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.
Lastly, Eternals will now see the light of day on November 5, 2021. It had been set for February 2021. Eternals features a new team of heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The ancient aliens have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, The Deviants.
These shifts come amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Studios have been forced to shift around release schedules constantly as the situation progresses. Movie theaters were shut down throughout much of the world in March of this year, with the industry only recently starting to get back on its feet.
However, the lackluster performance of movies such as Tenet and The New Mutants at the box office has given other studios pause. Most big releases have now vacated 2020 altogether, making the year mostly a wash.
With the changes, 2020 will be the first year without a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie since 2009. To date, the MCU has earned more than $22 billion at the global box office. Black Widow is set to be the first film in Phase 4 of the MCU. Other movies currently in the works include Thor: Love and Thunder, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a Blade reboot, Captain Marvel 2 and Black Panther 2. Reboots of the X-Men and Fantastic Four are in the works as well.