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WIRE Buzz: Disney won't delay Black Widow over virus; new Harry Potter mobile game; and more

By Josh Weiss
Black Widow

Yesterday, MGM and Eon Productions decided to push back No Time to Die by seven months in the wake of the growing coronavirus pandemic. It prompted many of us to wonder what other blockbusters would be delayed, but you can officially strike Black Widow off the list of possible targets. At least for now.

Deadline reports that Disney is "adamant" about not moving the first entry in Marvel Studios' Phase 4, which is set to hit theaters Friday, May 1. If the film were to miss its intended debut, the entire grand plan for the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward would be thrown entirely out of whack (since this thing is planned out several years, and several movies, in advance). There were reportedly some rumors of moving the project to Nov. 6, thus kicking Eternals to 2021, but they turned out to be untrue.

"Disney is telling its exhibition partners that they’re staying the course with their current release slate," writes Deadline. The Mouse House also has its Mulan remake opening later this month on Friday, March 27.

Black Widow

As it turns out, all of the major studios are staying on course: Universal (Fast & Furious 9 on May 22), Warner Bros. (Scoob! on May 15 and Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5), and Paramount (A Quiet Place Part II on March 20 and SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run on May 22).

Whether any of this changes remains to be seen.

Directed by Cate Shortland, Black Widow takes a deep dive into the backstory of Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff. Set after Civil War, but before Infinity War, the project co-stars Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, William Hurt, O-T Fagbenle, and Ray Winstone.

The repertoire of Harry Potter-inspired mobile games just got a bit bigger. Today, the San Francisco-based Zynga Inc. announced a soft launch for Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells. Now available in select markets, the game is described as "a mobile celebration of the original books and films," as well as "the first match-3 puzzle game for the Wizarding World."

“We are incredibly proud to bring Harry Potter to Zynga's portfolio and are dedicated to creating a game that's worthy of the Wizarding World and its legions of fans,” said Bernard Kim, President of Publishing at Zynga, in a statement. “By combining the ubiquity of mobile and the expertise of Zynga’s development team in partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, we are crafting a game that will delight fans of all ages around the globe.”

Harry Potter Puzzles & Spells

Puzzles & Spells is licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and published under the Portkey Games banner. Players can customize their in-game character before engaging in Chocolate Frog-filled quizzes and brain teasers that unlock new spells and potions. You can even interact with other players by forming alliances and clubs.

And be sure to look out for familiar faces from the live-action movies! Click here for more info.

Eva Green is on a mission to Mars in the official trailer for Proxima.

Directed and co-written by Alice Winocour (Disorder, Augustine), the film explores the fraying relationship between a mother (Green) and her young daughter (Zélie Boulant) just before humanity prepares to undergo its first manned mission to the Red Planet.

Watch the latest trailer below:

Matt Dillon, Lars Eidinger, and Sandra Hüller also star in the flick.

Per ScreenDaily, Proxima was on the shortlist for France's submission to the 2020 Academy Awards. Unfortunately, it lost out to Les Misérables. Based on critic reviews thus far, the film currently holds an 81 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the consensus being:

Proxima sometimes struggles to communicate its themes, but worthy intentions and a powerful central performance from Eva Green more than compensate.

It's still unclear when Proxima will open in American theaters. The trailer provides a date of May 8, but given that the word "cinemas" is used, it's probably safe to assume that only refers to a European rollout. Things only get more confusing when you refer to the project's IMDB page, which states that the movie has already debuted in a number of EU countries.