Disney waited and waited to release Black WidowThe movie, which was originally intended as the official kickoff Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was first scheduled to open on May 1, 2020. When the coronavirus pandemic struck, Disney moved the film to November of 2020. Then, when Covid cases rose in the fall, they moved it again to May 7, 2021. In the meantime, Phase Four of the MCU began with the Disney+ series WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

But that’s the thing about an interconnected universe; everything leads into everything else. Marvel’s TV series could continue — but at a certain point, something was bound to spoil Black Widow. So the film could only be held back for so long. And today, Disney announced that Black Widow would now open on July 9 — but that because of the ongoing pandemic, it would premiere simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+. This will be the first Marvel movie to premiere on streaming the same day it opens in multiplexes.

Black Widow will be a “Premier Access” title on Disney+ — which means it will cost an extra fee on top of your monthly Disney+ subscription to watch it. Disney has previously used this model for the releases of Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon. Here is Black Widow’s 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. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha/Black Widow, Florence Pugh stars as Yelena, David Harbour portrays Alexei/The Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz is Melina.

As part of this move, Disney moved Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — which was previously coming out in July — to September. We’ll have more updates to the Marvel and Disney release calendars soon.

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