After repeatedly moving the release dates, Disney have announced that both Cruella and Black Widow, starring Emma Stone and Scarlett Johansson respectively, will be released on Disney+ through Premier Access alongside simultaneous cinema releases.
Cruella is a spin-off title, based on the character Cruella De Vil from the Disney franchise 101 Dalmatians, which itself was based on Dodie Smith’s original novel, The Hundred and One Dalmatians. Set in 1970s London during the punk rock revolution, the prequel will focus on the origins of Emma Stone’s Estella, who aspires to become a renowned fashion designer but will go on to become the titular Cruella. The film will be directed by Craig Gillespie, and will also feature Dame Emma Thompson as Baroness von Hellman, Joel Fry as Jasper Badun and Mark Strong as Boris. Originally scheduled for a theatrical release on 23 December 2020, Cruella is now set to be released on 28 May 2021.
Black Widow is set after the events of Captain America: Civil War and will follow the story of Natasha Romanoff as the eponymous Black Widow as she is forced to confront her past. The film’s cast includes David Harbour as Red Guardian, a Russian counterpart to Captain America, William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross and Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz as Black Widows. The superhero title will be directed by Cate Sutherland and produced by Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige. Black Widow was initially due to be released on 1 May 2020, but will now be released on 9 July 2021 and is intended to be the first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Disney’s Premier Access model serves as a premium add-on to the company’s Disney+ streaming platform. Premier Access was first implemented for the release of the live-action adaptation of Mulan on 4 September 2020, with the film then becoming available for all Disney+ subscribers in December of the same year. Raya and the Last Dragon was the second film to be offered through Premier Access, launching on 5 March 2021 and will become available for all Disney+ users this June.