After a year of speculation regarding Marvel Studios’ plans for Black Widow, the highly anticipated Marvel Cinematic Universe movie is now confirmed to premiere on streaming service Disney+ on the same day it arrives in theaters.
Disney announced plans to have both Black Widow and Cruella, the film featuring the villain of 101 Dalmations, available to stream on Disney+ via Premier Access — requiring an additional fee — alongside their theatrical releases. Cruella will premiere May 28, while the long-delayed Black Widow will finally debut on July 9.
Originally scheduled to hit theaters May 1, 2020, Black Widow had its release date pushed back multiple times due to the widespread theater closures resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Black Widow remains the first film in Phase 4 of the MCU, and features Scarlett Johansson reprising her role as the eponymous skilled SHIELD operative, albeit in a prequel story set before the events of Avengers: Infinity War.
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) March 23, 2021
Disney had long resisted the pressure to make Black Widow available on its streaming service, despite going that route with several other high-profile films since the pandemic forced the shutdown of theaters worldwide. Although theaters have begun reopening around the world, the pandemic’s lingering presence in the U.S. has made the return to business as usual a slow one, with an uncertain time frame.
Along with announcing the simultaneous streaming and theatrical releases for Black Widow and Cruella, Disney also announced a new rollout plan for several other upcoming films.
The upcoming Disney and Pixar animated feature Luca will head straight to Disney+ for a June 18 premiere, while several films still expected to premiere in theaters received new release dates. Among those films are Ryan Renyolds’ sci-fi action-comedy Free Guy on August 13, followed by MCU movie Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on September 3. Shang Chi will introduce yet another new hero to the MCU and continue Marvel’s Phase 4 plans.
After those films, Disney also revised the release dates for action prequel The King’s Man, which now premieres December 22, then Deep Water, now scheduled for January 14, 2022, and Death on the Nile, hitting theaters February 11, 2022.
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