Questions about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe began in earnest after the unquestionable success of Disney’s Mulan release to its streaming service, Disney+. Would the MCU follow suit? After all, both Eternals and Black Widow were supposed to hit theaters long before now. At first, the company line was a flat no. They would not release the Marvel films both to theaters and directly to Disney+. Following the success of the duel release of Raya and the Last Dragon, however, it seems Disney may be changing its tune.

Eternals; MCU; Disney+
Will Eternals premier on Disney+, after all?

Up until just recently, Marvel Studios (a subsidiary of Disney) was steadfast; Black Widow would be an exclusively theatrical release on May 7. Marvel head Kevin Feige has remained silent on the issue. Disney CEO Bob Chapek, to the contrary, revealed in a recent interview that the company may be re-evaluating that position regarding MCU films.

Black Widow to stream on Disney+?

We’ll make the call … probably at the last minute, in terms of how these films come to market, whether it’s Black Widow or any other title.” We’ve had unbelievable success in theaters, so we think it’s important to build our franchises — but at the same time, we don’t think it’s the only way to do it.”

~ Bob Chapek, Disney CEO, speaking to Bloomberg on Wednesday, March 17, 2021.
Black Widow; MCU

In making the statement, Chapek admitted that they are now remaining “flexible” with respect to the MCU releases. Previously the company was simply delaying release in the hopes that the pandemic would subside and theaters would open fully. That, of course, would maximize Disney’s return at the box office. We’re now a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, though. Full scale reopening hasn’t happened, and it doesn’t appear that it will any time soon.

So will we get to see Black Widow in our own homes come May 7? Will other MCU films follow suit? It’s far more of a possibility than it was in the past.

Source: C|Net, via Bloomberg