Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over their decision to release Black Widow on Disney+ the same day it hit theaters, which allegedly cost her millions.
Scarlett Johansson is one of the elders when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She made her debut in Iron Man 2 and was one of the first additions to expanding into the franchise it is today. Although she appeared in the Iron Man franchise and the Captain America franchise, she never received her own solo movie before Thanos came and destroyed everything.
After Avengers: Endgame passed, Marvel took to ComicCon to announce she would finally be getting her own movie. Then came the pandemic, which stalled out the release for over a year. The movie was released this month on Disney+ and theaters but according to the Wall Street Journal, the move to release the film on Disney+ is a problem for Johansson, who is suing Disney over the decision that reportedly cost her millions.
Ms. Johansson said in the suit that her agreement with Disney’s Marvel Entertainment guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release, and her salary was based in large part on the box-office performance of the film. “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,” the suit said.
According to the complaint, Ms. Johansson’s representatives sought to renegotiate her contract after learning of the dual-release strategy for “Black Widow,” which she has said is her ninth and last Marvel movie. Disney and Marvel were unresponsive, the suit said. The decision to put the movie on Disney+ is projected to cost Ms. Johansson more than $50 million, a person familiar with details of her contract claimed.
Even before the pandemic, Ms. Johansson was concerned that “Black Window” could end up on Disney+ as part of its wide release. In 2019, Ms. Johansson’s representatives reached out to Marvel seeking assurance that “Black Widow” would have a theatrical-only release, according to the complaint.
This lawsuit could end up being a first of its kinda for Hollywood and be a major turning point in the streaming era. The rumors of her unhappiness with the decision are now fact and this all seems like it could have been avoided.
Black Widow had massive numbers in its opening weekend and gave hope to Hollywood for the future. Now, it’s putting Hollywood on notice of the problems that come with dual releases.