The MCU is on hold until next year.
Earlier this morning, Disney announced that it would be delaying the release of some of its most anticipated fall blockbusters, including the MCU's Black Widow. It is the second time the film was delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic from its original release date in May 2020.
The film, which was slated to be the next instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, will no longer be released in November and is instead rescheduled for a May 7, 2021 release. The new release date Because MCU films are connected and planned in a very specific sequence, the delay won't just affect Black Widow but also the films slated to succeed it in the coming months.
Eternals, which deals with the eponymous race of aliens in the Marvel universe and the intended planned follow-up to Black Widow, has also been pushed back from its original February 2021 release date to November 5, 2021.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which will be Marvel's first with an Asian lead and was originally set to succeed Eternals in May 2021, was similarly affected by the Black Widow delay. However, it seems there has been a change of plans in terms of sequencing, as it is now slated to arrive on July 9, 2021.
The delays come as the movie industry struggles to address exhibition paradigms in flux. Likely using the rollout of Christopher Nolan's new thriller Tenet as a case study in surprising box office returns internationally against disappointing domestic numbers, Disney moved to release Mulan as an on demand premium through its Disney+ service. Although Mulan's digital numbers have yet to be released, it's unlikely that it performed well enough to make up for its originally projected box office figures, which may have then led Disney to gamble on pushing back new MCU films in favour of unimpressive on demand viewership.
What are your thoughts on the latest delay affecting the return of the MCU? Let us know in the comments below.