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Black Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron {image via Disney}

By Susan Macdonald & David Raiklen

Disney Studios announced that several of their movies will be delayed. With the majority of theaters closed for safety reasons, it is not surprising that Disney is postponing the release of Marvel’s “Black Widow,” Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” and Sir Kenneth Branagh’s “Death on the Nile” by several months.

The Black Widow solo movie (originally scheduled for a May 2020 release) has already been postponed once, to November 6, a date that looks increasingly unlikely as movie theaters in the U.S. remain closed for the most part. It is now tentatively set for May 7, 2021. Further postponements are not impossible. There is no telling if or when a vaccine for Covid-19 will be developed, Hollywood has yet to film a movie that is worth risking anyone’s life to see.

As each MCU movie builds off the movies before it, delaying Black Widow means delaying Eternals and Shang Chi. Due to the interconnected nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Widow’s move shifted back other installments in the superhero series. Eternals” a comic book adventure about a super-powered alien race, will debut on Nov. 5, 2021. It was previously dated for Feb. 12, 2021, and prior to that scheduled for November 6, 2020. Chloé Zhao directed the film, which stars Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Gemma Chan and Kumail Nanjiani.

Over the years, the Eternals (a humanoid race created by Jack Kirby) have been retconned several times, so comic book fans were looking forward to this new interpretation of them. Eternals is directed by Chloé Zhao (director of The Rider and Nomadland). It stars Angelina Jolie (Maleficient), Richard Madden (Robb Stark in Game of Thrones) Gemma Chan (Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel), Salma Hayek, and Kumail Nanjiani (Pawny in Men in Black: International).

Nanjiani endorsed the move on Twitter, saying “Marvel made the right and responsible decision.”“Nothing is more important than health & lives,” he wrote. “I can’t tell ppl to go to a movie theater until I feel safe going to one.”

Shang-Chi was originally the son of super-villain Fu Manchu. His movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, will star Canadian actor Simu Liu as Kung Fu fighter Shang-Chi. The new release date is July 9, 2021. Just as Black Panther was the first MCU movie to have an African or African-American star and hero, so Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be Marvel’s first Asian-led movie. It will also star Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou of Star Trek: Discovery, Zi Yuan in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor), Tony Chiu-Wai Leung (Chen Wing Yan in Infernal Affairs) and Awkwafina (the Collector in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance).

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Death on the Nile, based on the Dame Agatha Christie book, goes from an October 23, 2020 release date to a holiday release on Friday, December 18, 2020. The movie is directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), and will star Sir Kenneth as Hercule Poirot and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) as Linnet Doyle and Sophie Okonedo (Liz Ten in Dr. Who “The Beast Below”) as Salome Otterbourne.

Steven Spielburg’s remake of West Side Story will be delayed nearly a full year, from December 18, 2020 to December 10, 2021. Singer Rachel Zegler will be making her acting debut as Maria, the role Natalie Wood played in 1961.

Black Panther 2 was originally scheduled for May 6, 2022, but between the difficulty of maintaining social distancing and the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman, that will probably be in 2023 or 2024.

Each time release dates reschedule it causes a ripple effect through the release dates of the movies from all the other studios, so naturally everything is in flux and the release dates are all now moving targets. Here’s the new adjusted release calender for the rest of the year. Please remember these new release dates are not set in stone , but here’s the new release schedule:

20th CenturyThe Empty ManOct 23
Warner Bros.Those Who Wish Me DeadOct 23
LionsgateFataleOct 30
UniversalFreakyNov 13
DisneySoulNov 20
United ArtistsNo Time to DieNov 20
SonyHappiest SeasonNov 25
ParamountComing 2 AmericaDec 18

We’ll keep you up to date on the ever-changing calendar.

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Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.

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