The pandemic hasn’t been easy on Hollywood. Most of their 2020 releases got delayed as it was uncertain if worldwide quarantines would end anytime soon. Yet, there is the question if people would be willing to return to cinemas as long as that uncertainty remained. Marvel Studios had to push back its entire Phase 4 slate by a year. Most of the releases have been shifted around as a result as well. One of those releases was Black Widow.
It was supposed to kick off Phase 4 in May of last year only to get postponed into 2021. Now, WandaVision is officially taking over that duty in the next few days. Even after all this time, the pandemic still looms over our heads. Studios, as well as theaters, are still reeling from the heavy losses of 2020. So, there was still hope to hold the 2021 release dates. It seems that the latest strategy with Raya and the Last Dragon may be signaling a new direction after all.
Raya will premiere in March simultaneously on Disney+ Premium Access and theaters. It isn’t too dissimilar from how Warner Bros. currently has mapped out their entire 2021 release plan. Still, Disney has denied that any such whispers but happened, but we’ve seen them deny such claims once before. Pixar’s Soul went through a similar development before getting released on Disney+. It’s not an easy decision for Disney, as constantly postponing their releases doesn’t help their current plans. It leaves many to wonder if Disney would be willing to pull the trigger and risk it all with a Hollywood blockbuster such as Black Widow come May 2021. Right now, there are too many factors to say if theaters will return to what they once were by May.