Scarlett Johansson and Disney Settle 'Black Widow' Lawsuit
It seems Marvel's team of (likely extremely stressed) lawyers currently juggling five lawsuits to attempt to keep sole ownership of Spider-Man, Iron Man, and, well, basically all of their IP, finally got a sliver of good news this week. Roughly two months after Scarlett Johannson sued Disney for breach of contract over Black Widow's tandem release in theaters and on streaming service Disney+, both parties have
decided ScarJo's character should probably make another MCU appearance at some point reached an agreement, setting for an undisclosed amount.
“I am happy to have resolved our differences with Disney,” the actress said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “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 in years to come," she continued, likely making Marvel president, Kevin Feige's eye twitch at the speculatively spoiler-fueled implication of “continuing” their work together.
“I’m very pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding Black Widow,” added Alan Bergman, who serves as chairman of Disney Studios. “We appreciate her contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to working together on a number of upcoming projects, including Disney’s Tower of Terror.”
In late July, the actress sued Disney over Black Widow's hybrid release model, as she said a good portion of her pay was determined by the movie's box office performance.
“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,” said the lawsuit, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Although the movie made $80 million in its U.S. opening weekend alone, marking Marvel's biggest theatrical release since December 2019's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, as The Hollywood Reporter noted, the movie also made bank on streaming, garnering $60 million from Disney+. Yet according to John Berlinksi, one of the actress's attorneys, there may have been some shady business going down.
"It’s no secret that Disney is releasing films like ‘Black Widow’ directly onto Disney+ to increase subscribers and thereby boost the company’s stock price – and that it’s hiding behind Covid-19 as a pretext to do so,” Berlinski told CNBC at the time.
Top Image: Marvel