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Black Widow’s release pushed back thanks to coronavirus concerns

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Disney isn’t taking any chances with theater closings and gathering suggestions

The cast of Black Widow on the poster for the 2020 film. Marvel Studios

Black Widow, the first Marvel movie in almost a year, has been delayed due to concerns over COVID-19. The announcement came on Tuesday afternoon, just a few weeks before the movie’s original release date of May 1. Disney has not announced when the movie will be released.

Black Widow is the latest in a long string of cancellations both for Disney, and the film industry as a whole, over concerns around COVID-19. The summer’s rash of cancellations was began with No Time to Die, the final Daniel Craig James Bond movie, which was pushed from its original early April release date all the way back to November. Bond was followed by A Quiet Place 2, just week later, and Fast and Furious 9, which got a full year delay, just a few hours later.

On March 12, Disney made its own string of cancellations and closures. The production giant started with the closing of its California parks, including California Adventure and Disneyland. Disney then followed those announcements with word that it was pushing back the release of Mulan, The New Mutants, and Antlers to indeterminate times in the future. Disney has yet to announce new release dates for those films, which means it could be a while before we receive word of Black Widow’s new release date, too.

This run of film delays also comes at a moment when even larger events are being delayed over fear of attendees spreading COVID-19. On Wednesday, March 11 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it was officially classifying COVID-19 as a pandemic — a first since 2009’s H1N1 virus. The same day that Disney announced the delays for New Mutants and Mulan, nearly every professional sports league in the United States announced that it was either cancelling certain events, or their entire season.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) let fans know on March 11 that it would be postponing its season indefinitely, while the NCAA cancelled its annual March Madness tournament. All this comes after events like South By Southwest, Coachella, and the Electronic Entertainment Expo were cancelled in the weeks prior.

Other than Black Widow, Marvel’s other plans for the year include The Falcon and Winter Soldier as well as WandaVision, both of which are schedule to debut on Disney Plus later this year. As far as films go, Disney will release Marvel’s The Eternals much later this year on Nov. 6.