In some alternate world, we’ve all seen it already. Black Widow was originally supposed to be released back in May of this year. We would already have the conclusion to the full breadth of Natasha Romanov’s story. As well as some hint of what it is to come for the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But, in this timeline, the entire world is on hold from the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result for the second time, Black Widow has been delayed. Originally re-slated for November, we’ll now have to wait until May 2021 to see the film.
Why The Delay?
The biggest question on everyone’s mind is; why is Black Widow being delayed again? The movie has been finished for some time and Disney could put it on Disney+ as they did with Mulan. So why keep pushing it back? The MCU’s Phase 3 ended with Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, with Spiderman: Far From Home serving as a sort of epilogue for it all. We know that Black Widow will tell a story that takes place between Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War. So, it seems unlikely that it should have much impact on the next phase of the MCU.
Yet, we’ve also heard that The Eternals and Shang-Chi will also be pushed back to accommodate Black Widow‘s new release schedule. Could it be that the Black Widow movie actually plays a more significant role in the start of Phase 4? Of course, the most obvious answer is just money. This will be the first Marvel movie in theaters since Spiderman: Far From Home, which was a joint Sony operation. By the time Black Widow does hit theaters, it will have been over two years since the last Marvel movie was in theaters. They want that $1 Billion Global Box Office opening.
More Than We See
It is possible that there is something hidden within the Black Widow movie that is going to set up something big for the next phase in the MCU. It’s been done before with films in the franchise that most people would consider small fish compared to the Avengers or the Civil Wars of the universe. Thor: Dark World, commonly accepted as one of the worst movies in the MCU introduced the first Infinity Stone which clued fans into the eventual Infinity War event.
Ant-Man and eventually the sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp introduced us to the Quantum Realm that would eventually be the timeline saving answer to “The Snap.” So is it possible that Black Widow is going to introduce a future McGuffin? It could be something as simple as that, or it could be something a bit more complicated…
Finding a Family
While the way the writers presented her story wasn’t always pretty, at the end of the day what Natasha really wanted was a family. By the time we see her leading what is left of the Avengers in Endgame, she’s found that. It’s why she’s willing to sacrifice herself to bring everyone back and make sure they’re protected. It’s also the reason she’s not willing to let Hawkeye kill himself because his family still needs him. In the trailers we’ve seen for Black Widow, the idea of family is center stage as she teams up with an old squad of heroes from her homeland of Russia.
Is it possible that during Black Widow she sets plans in motion that account for what could be her eventual demise in Endgame? In Captain Marvel, Nick Fury starts the Avengers program based on what he experienced. Could Natasha put similar plans in motion that end up playing out through the course of Phase 4? We won’t know for sure until at least May of next year. But one thing is certain…I’m ready for another damn Marvel movie!
Upset about Black Widow being delayed? Need a comic fix in the meantime? For more things, Marvel and everything else about comics listen to the Other Identity! The Other Identity is CheckpointXP’s podcast for all things Marvel and DC. Hosted by our very own Robbie Landis and Ben Morse, a Marvel Alumni!