The coronavirus pandemic has once again changed Disney’s plans for Black Widow‘s release. The Marvel film, starring Scarlett Johansson, will be available on Disney+ the same day it lands in theaters, the company announced Tuesday.
Originally slated for a May 2020 release date, then delayed more than once due to COVID, Black Widow will now come out on Friday, July 9. It will be available with Premier Access — that is, with a one-time $30 fee — which Disney+ has previously employed for the releases of Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon.
Similarly, Disney’s live-action Cruella prequel — which stars Emma Stone as a younger version of the 101 Dalmatians villain — will drop on Disney+ on Friday, May 28, coinciding with its theater release. Cruella will also be available with Premier Access.
“Today’s announcement reflects our focus on providing consumer choice and serving the evolving preferences of audiences,” said Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution. “By leveraging a flexible distribution strategy in a dynamic marketplace that is beginning to recover from the global pandemic, we will continue to employ the best options to deliver The Walt Disney Company’s unparalleled storytelling to fans and families around the world.”
With the pandemic upending movie release strategies for the past year, there was much speculation about whether Black Widow would ultimately drop on Disney+. Earlier this month, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek maintained that the film would only be available in theaters, then later said the company would likely make a last-minute decision about the exact rollout.
Also on Tuesday, Disney announced that the animated Pixar production Luca will stream exclusively on Disney+ beginning Friday, June 18. New theatrical release dates were also penciled in for the following films: Free Guy (now Aug. 13), Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Sept. 3), The King’s Man (Dec. 22), Deep Water (Jan. 14, 2022) and Death on the Nile (Feb. 11, 2022).
Your thoughts on Black Widow and Cruella‘s new rollout? Drop ’em below!