Home Uncategorized Disney Delays Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story,’ Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ Due to Pandemic

Disney Delays Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story,’ Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ Due to Pandemic

The Walt Disney Co. has further postponed its next mega-movies from Marvel, including Black Widow, while also postponing Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story a full year in the company’s latest recalibration due to the pandemic. Ten of Disney’s top films shuffled release dates Wednesday (Sept. 23), uprooting several of the company’s major fall releases.

The Scarlett Johansson Marvel movie Black Widow, last set for Nov. 6, heads to May 7 of next year. Instead of opening next month, Kenneth Branagh’s murder mystery Death on the Nile moves to Dec. 18. That was the date set for West Side Story, but Spielberg’s musical will instead debut in December 2021.

Disney didn’t entirely abandon the season. The Pixar release Soul remains on the calendar for late November. The Empty Man, a horror release from the former 20th Century Fox, is moving up from December to Oct. 23. But the delays of Disney’s upcoming blockbusters reinforce the growing exodus from 2020 among the blockbusters that hadn’t already uprooted to next year. Following tepid ticket sales for Warner Bros.′ Tenet in a U.S. theatrical marketplace where about 30% of cinemas remain closed, Warner Bros.′ Wonder Woman 1984 moved from October to Christmas and Universal Pictures’ Candyman postponed to next year.

Speilberg’s adaptation of the beloved Broadway musical with the Romeo-and-Juliet-like story of a star-crossed love affair between former Jets gang member Tony and the younger sister of a Puerto Rican gang leader, Maria, will feature Ansel Elgort as Tony and Rita Moreno — who won an Oscar for the 1959 original film — as Valentina.

Given the interconnected nature of Marvel releases, the latest delay of Black Widow had a domino effect on other films. Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, starring Simu Liu as the martial arts hero, is now slated for July 9, 2021, instead of May 7. Chloé Zhao Eternals, with Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan and Kumail Nanjiani, moves from February to Nov. 5, 2021.

“Marvel made the right and responsible decision,” Nanjiani said on Twitter. “There’s a pandemic. Nothing is more important than health and lives. I can’t tell people to go to a movie theater until I feel safe going to one.” The Ben Affleck-Ana de Armas thriller Deep Water was also pushed from November until August next year.

Notably, Disney didn’t announce any films were pivoting to its streaming platform, Disney+. Since the pandemic began, the company’s Mulan, Hamilton and Artemis Fowl have gone direct to streaming, with Mulan made available for a $30 premium purchase by subscribers. Disney has declined to share digital grosses for Mulan, though the live-action remake has underperformed in theaters overseas.

Must Read

NERVO Is Remaking Its Unreleased Avicii Collab Without ‘Tim’s Chords or Parts’

Liv Nervo, one half of the NERVO sisters, recently revealed in an interview that the Australian duo was in motion to complete a decade-old Avicii...

Sony Music Diversifies Digital Distribution in China With Tencent, NetEase Deals

Sony Music is making moves to diversify its digital distribution in China. The major label has extended its distribution agreement with streaming platform Tencent Music...

What’s the Best Song Bridge of the 21st Century? Vote!

“All right now, fellas, what’s cooler than being cool?” Having an iconic song bridge, of course, and Billboard wants to know which one you think...

Meghan Trainor, Adam Lambert & More Join as Judges for E!’s ‘Clash of the Cover Bands’

As E! prepares to give viewers some new covers of their favorite songs, Meghan Trainor, Adam Lambert and Ester Dean are ready to help pick...

Ministry Guitarist Sin Quirin Exits Band in Wake of Allegations of Underage Sexual Relationships Years Ago

Ministry guitarist Sin Quirin has left the band a year after two women alleged that he had sexual relationships with them more than 15...