Cinematic universes are complicated things. Each movies is dependent upon the film that precedes it. Which means when the release date of one film changes, they basically all have to. So when Marvel moved Black Widow out of its original May release date because of coronavirus, it set off a chain reaction. Black Widow has a new release date now — and almost every single Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Four movie does as a result as well.

Here now, via The Hollywood Reporter, are the updated MCU Phase Four release dates. Essentially Black Widow shifted to Eternals’ release date, which moves to Shang-Chi’s date, and so on. Only Black Panther 2 stuck to its original date. The new calendar is:

  • Black Widow: November 6, 2020
  • Eternals: February 12, 2021
  • Shang-Chi: May 7, 2021
  • Doctor Strange 2: November 5, 2021
  • Thor: Love and Thunder: February 28, 2022
  • Black Panther 2: May 8, 2022
  • Captain Marvel 2: July 8, 2022

This shows the challenge of cinematic universes. They are designed to be interdependent in a way that’s great when things are proceeding as scheduled — and that’s dangerous when they don’t. On the whole, Marvel got incredibly lucky through the first three phases of the MCU; imagine what would have happened if coronavirus hit in the spring of 2019, right before Avengers: Endgame opened in theaters.

Here’s Black Widow’s “final” trailer:

And the official synopsis:

In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow,” Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.

Let’s hope these are the final date changes for the MCU, and that Black Widow does indeed open this November, with theaters full of healthy, happy folks.

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