BLACK WIDOW Has Been Sat In Marvel Studios Finished And Untouched For The Past Year

BLACK WIDOW Has Been Sat In Marvel Studios Finished And Untouched For The Past Year

Black Widow director Cate Shortland reveals that despite several release date delays, the movie has actually been sat in Marvel Studios' headquarters for at least the past year fully finished & untouched.

Had the world not been hit by a pandemic, Black Widow would have been released in theaters last May. However, thanks to COVID, it's been hit by multiple delays and will now arrive simultaneously on the big screen and Disney+ this July.

For the past year, we've heard conflicting things about plans for the movie, but it turns out Marvel Studios could have released it at any time.

In Empire's summer preview issue (via Screen Rant) director Cate Shortland talks to the publication, and while there's not a direct quote from her, it's revealed that "the film has been fully finished – and untouched – for a year now, just waiting to be unleashed on audiences."

Of course, just because Marvel Studios could release Black Widow doesn't mean they should have. 

We all saw how Tenet underperformed last summer despite being billed as the blockbuster that would save theaters, while there really aren't many movies that have done decent numbers at the box office since the pandemic began. Godzilla vs. Kong certainly exceeded expectations, but didn't earn anywhere near as much as it would have had the world been fully opened up.

As it stands, a theatrical/Disney+ debut for Black Widow means $1 billion is impossible, but it feels like Disney might be testing the waters for how it will release blockbusters moving forward. There's a very real desire from moviegoers to watch content like this at home, so if it earns enough on that pricey "Premier Access" service, it could be a total game-changer. 


Click on the "Next" button below to check out 5 movies missing
from Marvel's Phase 4 slate...and 5 we expect to see in Phase 5!

Phase 4

5. Deadpool 3

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It's been confirmed that Deadpool 3 takes place in the MCU and that it will be Marvel Studios' first R-Rated blockbuster. Needless to say, explaining his arrival in this shared world won't be easy, though it certainly helps that he's not a mutant in the traditional sense. 

There's no director, but Bob's Burgers' writers The Molyneux Sisters have been tapped to pen the screenplay. Given where other Phase 4 title are in the development process, we're definitely surprised that this one was missing from the recent sneak peek (which featured more logo and title reveals than it did actual new footage). 

A title reveal - say, "Deadpool vs. the Marvel Universe" - would have broken the internet, but might have also overshadowed the likes of The Marvels and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Either way, we hope to have more details on this movie sooner rather than later. 
 

4. Thunderbolts

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Perhaps this was wishful thinking on our part, especially after The Falcon and The Winter Soldier barely teased the team's existence, but where the heck are the Thunderbolts in Phase 4? 

Rumour has it that Yelena Belova and Taskmaster will be part of the team, and U.S. Agent seems like a logical leader for the group as well (even if he is a little unhinged). Marvel Studios might be taking its time, but not introducing this team in Phase 4 would be baffling, as the groundwork needs to be laid if they are to get their own movie in the next few years. 

Throw in the retconned Baron Zemo and this is a project that could be something really special. 

As it stands, we don't even know if this one is happening, though The Falcon and The Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman has teased that there are several upcoming movies we know nothing about.
 

3. Avengers 5

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Where are Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Phase 4? 

Avengers: Endgame became the highest-grossing movie of all time in 2019, and if there's any franchise that can help reignite the box office and break records, it's this one. However, instead of rushing into telling a new story surrounding this team, it seems Marvel Studios wants to spend some time building up new heroes.

That's understandable, but it would have been no bad thing to make the Secret Invasion series coming to Disney+ a blockbuster movie that brought the Kree/Skrull War to Earth. 

We trust Kevin Feige, though, and remain confident that when the Avengers do return, it'll be a big deal.
 

2. Blade

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Announced during the San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, Blade will star Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali as the title character. Unfortunately, development on the project has been slow since that big reveal in Hall H. 

Stacy Osei-Kuffour is penning the screenplay, but we recently learned that Marvel Studios is taking its time to ensure they get the story right. It's also been confirmed that while the hunt is on for a Black director to take the helm of Blade, the start date has been pushed from this September to July 2022.

That delay means Blade could still be released in Phase 4 (late 2023, to be precise), so it's strange that Marvel Studios didn't do something to tease the arrival of vampires in the MCU. 

There's been some chatter about this always being a Phase 5 release, but that's never been made officially official...
 

1. Spider-Man 4

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Perhaps we're putting the cart before the horse here, and expecting Marvel Studios to announce this on Monday is definitely a tad too optimistic. However, there's still room in Phase 4 for another Spider-Man adventure beyond this year's No Way Home

Up until now, Sony Pictures has been intent on releasing solo outings featuring the wall-crawler every two years. That means the fourth instalment should arrive in 2023, but the problem now is that Jon Watts is moving on to the Fantastic Four reboot. 

That takes him out of the running for Spider-Man 4, and means a new director will be needed. Throw in the fact that Tom Holland says his contract is up after No Way Home (and presumably that extra MCU appearance we've heard about), and that two-year gap looks likely to increase.

We're bound to see more Spidey, but if it isn't a fourth solo movie, then we'd be willing to bet he starts making his presence felt in the SPUMC (Venom 3, anyone?).
 

Phase 5

5. Young Avengers

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We've talked about Avengers 5, but the reason that movie is missing from Phase 4 could be because the plan is for Marvel Studios to take Earth's Mightiest Heroes down a younger route. 

With characters like Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, Stature, and America Chavez all on the way to the MCU, this does feel like a logical next step, especially as The Falcon and The Winter Soldier just introduced Eli Bradley (better known as Patriot in the comic books). Throw Ironheart into the mix, and there's your team right there. 

We're sure Tommy and Billy Maximoff are being aged up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness too, so the place for all these heroes could be in a team-up movie of their own. 

This is a slow burn, though, so don't bank on seeing them until Phase 5. 
 

4. Silver Surfer

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When Fox still held the rights to Daredevil, they had only a certain amount of time to bring the Man Without Fear back to the big screen before they reverted to Marvel Studios. 

It was then that Kevin Feige attempted to strike a deal: keep Daredevil, but give him access to Galactus and the Silver Surfer. Fox refused, and we ended up seeing Matt Murdock on Netflix a few years later. So, it seems clear that the Marvel Studios boss wants to do something with the two characters. 

We're only expecting them to be teased in the Fantastic Four reboot, but Adam McKay is keen to do something with Silver Surfer, so his origin and first meeting with Galactus could be teased in a solo outing that then sets the stage for the Eater of Worlds to become the MCU's next big bad.

This has the potential to be something really special, so here's hoping it happens. 
 

3. Captain America 4

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We recently learned that The Falcon and The Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman is writing Captain America 4 alongside Dalan Musson. 

It's assumed that the spotlight will be put on Sam Wilson as the new Cap, further exploring the themes and concepts introduced on Disney+. We're certainly hoping that Bucky returns here, while it would be a crying shame not to do something with Baron Zemo given Daniel Bruhl's chemistry with Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. 

No director has been found for this one, and it's clearly still early days. That makes it a natural fit for Phase 5.

As for that other Captain America movie (which is reportedly completely separate from this one), we're not expecting to see Chris Evans reprise the role until Phase 5 at the soonest...possibly later!
 

2. Nova

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Kevin Feige has confirmed that Marvel Studios does have plans for Nova, and there are plenty of rumours out there that the character will receive his own feature film. 

In terms of the plot, the prevailing theory is that we'll see Richard Rider training Sam Alexander, a fun idea that definitely has big screen potential. James Gunn seemingly remains uninterested in the character, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could be where we get an idea of what became of the Nova Corps in the wake of Thanos' attack. 

Nova is a great character and someone who has a dedicated fanbase. With that in mind, there's really no reason not to have him take centre stage in a movie of his own.

Unfortunately, there's just not room for him in Phase 4 by the looks of it.
 

1. X-Men

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We're as anxious as you are to see the X-Men arrive in the MCU, and there have been some weird rumours about the eventual reboot being titled "The Mutants" (meaning Marvel Studios would drop the "X-Men" branding altogether).

Fox very nearly killed the franchise, so that would be understandable, and we're pretty sure there are plans to reinvent the heroes in some way. Remember, executive Victoria Alonso has pointed out that the X-Men name is quite dated, especially when there are plenty of amazing female heroes in the team as well. 

Regardless, it's vital to create some distance between Dark Phoenix (and The New Mutants) and whatever shape this reboot takes, so there's no way Wolverine and company are showing up until Phase 5. 

We're sure that will be worth the wait, but dammit if we're not starting to get impatient! 
 

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