Scarlett Johansson And Disney Settle ‘Black Widow’ Lawsuit
Scarlett Johansson and the Walt Disney Co. have settled their dispute concerning the release of Black Widow.
On Thursday, the actress portraying Black Widow settled her lawsuit over the streaming release of Black Widow, bringing a swift end to what appeared to be a long and harrowing legal battle.
“I am happy to have resolved our differences with Disney,” said Johansson, who has played Natasha Romanoff, more popularly known as Black Widow, in nine movies, going back to 2010’s Iron Man 2. “I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together over the years and have greatly enjoyed my creative relationship with the team. I look forward to continuing our collaboration.”
Alan Bergman, chairman of Disney Studios Content, said he is “pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement.”
“We appreciate her contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to working together on a number of upcoming projects,” Bergman said.
Johansson filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court two months ago. She claimed that the simultaneous streaming release of the Marvel movie breached her contract and deprived her of potential earnings. Actors receive two paycheques for a movie, one is decided upon in advance and the other depends on the silver screen earnings of a movie.
The lawsuit said Johansson’s contract guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release.
Since the pandemic has raged, Disney has taken a different approach for many of its movies, releasing films simultaneously in theatres and through its streaming service Disney+ for a $30 rental.
“In the months leading up to this lawsuit, Ms Johansson gave Disney and Marvel every opportunity to right their wrong and make good on Marvel’s promise,” said the lawsuit. “Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the Agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel.”
Disney at the time said the lawsuit had “no merit whatsoever,” adding that it was “especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Disney then went on to say that the changed release plan significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received for the project by then.
The two seemed to disagree gravely and it appeared that this disagreement would take an ugly turn. However, the differences have now been resolved. However, the details of the deal between Disney and Johansson have not been disclosed.
Delayed more than a year because of COVID-19, Black Widow debuted to what was then a pandemic-best of $80 million in North America and $78 million from international theatres on July 9. However, the theatrical grosses saw a sharp decline soon after.