Following the Black Widow’s release in July, Kevin Feige has come out to support diversity in Marvel Studios films. With the release of Marvel's diverse Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, it appears that the studio is keen to keep that ball rolling.
It's no secret that Black Widow took the rough route to its anticipated debut in theaters. The pandemic and the ongoing delays made this project tougher. The film was the first MCU feature to trial a two-way distribution at theaters and on Disney+. This led Scarlett and her team to sue Disney for allegedly violating her contract.
Black Widow Representation and Sidelining
Black Widow was the second female-centered Marvel Studios picture following Captain Marvel. The film was a long time coming, especially given the status of Widow as one of the original Avengers. Allegedly, this history resulted in Kevin Feige's reluctance to have the film debut on Disney+.
Reported by The Wall Street Journal, it's said that Marvel President Kevin Feige strongly objected to Black Widow's simultaneous release. Reportedly, this is due to Feige's plans for Disney+ releases — like Loki and WandaVision — to complement large-screen blockbusters.
The importance of Feige’s push
Kevin Feige remained committed to holding MCU films from release for over a year, believing they deserved to be shown on the big screen. As the first film to kick off Phase 4, the Marvel president deemed it paramount that Black Widow was treated in the same way as its almost two-dozen predecessors.
Black Widow didn't just mark Scarlett Johansson's first solo film, but it also introduced her successor in Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova. Additionally, it seemed to reflect the intention of Marvel Studios to give female heroes a more prominent role.
While the Disney lawsuit took center stage after the release of Black Widow, the plans of Feige seem unaltered to highlight Marvel talents.