Black Widow’s delayed release is unlikely to affect Marvel’s Phase 4


Black Widow is the latest blockbuster hit to be pushed back over the novel coronavirus outbreak, but its delay won’t affect the MCU’s fourth phase.

Most of the 2020 spring and summer blockbusters have been moved back to the latter half of the year, the result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and subsequent movie theater closings around the world. Marvel’s Black Widow is one of the latest films to be rescheduled from its April 24 release in the U.K. and May 1 release in the U.S. The studio hasn’t given a definitive new date for the film yet, but it will no longer premiere during the spring.

This setback had many Marvel fans concerned that the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe might see all kinds of issues going forward, especially since Marvel releases tend to lead into one another. Thankfully, however, it doesn’t appear that Black Widow‘s delay will impact the rest of the Phase 4 films.

As per Variety, a source close to Marvel Studios insisted that “pushing Black Widow affects nothing on the MCU timeline.” And while Disney and Marvel Studios have yet to confirm this sentiment themselves, it does make sense that Black Widow‘s later release wouldn’t hurt the upcoming installments in any way.

Although Natasha Romanoff’s backstory is the first film to kick off Phase 4 of the MCU, it’s not set after the events of Avengers: Endgame or Spider-Man: Far From Home. Instead, it’s a story that takes place between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War — meaning it’s unlikely to reveal any Earth-shattering information about Phase 4 that we don’t already know. Black Widow‘s goal seems to be shedding light on Natasha’s backstory, not setting up the future of the Avengers team.

That said, some of Marvel’s other delayed productions could certainly impact Phase 4’s timeline if they don’t resume filming any time soon. Production on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Loki has been halted, and each of those Disney+ series is likely to set fans up for a world without Steve Rogers and Tony Stark.

We’ll have to wait to find out just how long-lasting the impact of this pandemic is on Marvel Studios — and the entertainment industry in general — but it’s nice to know that any potential domino effect won’t be starting with Black Widow.

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For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.