Black Widow: That's why Scarlett Johansson is suing the Disney group

Black Widow: That's why Scarlett Johansson is suing the Disney group

Black Widow

The new Marvel film Black Widow only recently opened in theaters. At the same time, it also celebrated its premiere on the Disney + streaming service, where users can "borrow" it for a month for a VIP fee of 22 euros. But it was precisely this publication strategy that Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson called on to file a lawsuit against the Disney group It is now common practice - to contractually guarantee a share in the cinema revenues. There is also a guarantee that Black Widow (buy now € 9.39) will be shown in at least 1,500 cinemas. The latter was probably not the case, which was on the one hand due to the publication via Disney +, but also to the continuing rampant corona pandemic and the associated effects on the cinema industry around the world. According to the report, Johansson lost approximately $ 50 million in stakes due to the previously unannounced change in Black Widow's release strategy. The actress sees this as a breach of contract and therefore filed a lawsuit.

Fittingly: Black Widow in the cinema review by PC Games

What does Disney say about it?

The response from the Disney group was not too long in coming and was surprisingly direct. According to a spokesman, Disney has fulfilled the contract with Scarlett Johansson and even given her the chance to receive an additional stake in connection with the publication via Disney +. In addition, the timing of the lawsuit is very questionable as it would "ignore the terrible and long-lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic around the world".

It remains to be seen how the legal battle between Johansson and Disney develops. The judgment could definitely point the way for the near future of the film industry.

Source: Wall Street Journal

How Marvel’s Kevin Feige Is Reportedly Responding To Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow Drama

Published: Jul. 30. 2021 7:00 AM

Scarlett Johansson’s move to file a claim in court against The Walt Disney Co. for a breach of contract could be the first salvo in a series of uncomfortable conversations between studios and talent. At the heart of the conflict is money, but also the loyalty that studios show to their top talent as the industry continues to create an exit strategy from the pandemic shutdown, and the evolution of the method in which major blockbusters are released. Following news that Johansson is upset with Marvel’s parent company, Disney, we all wondered what Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige’s reaction would be to the public dust up. As expected, he’s not pleased.

Kevin Feige has run a tight ship at Marvel Studios, one that has cruised along on relatively stable waters. This public spat between one of his core Avengers, Johansson, and the studio who backs the MCU has to be a concern. The Hollywood Reporter editor Matthew Belloni covered Feige’s concerns in his latest newsletter (via, and shared this insider information:

[Feige is] a company man, and not prone to corporate showdowns or shouting matches. But I’m told he’s angry and embarrassed. He lobbied Disney against the day-and-date plan for Black Widow, preferring the big screen exclusivity and not wanting to upset his talent. And then when the shit hit the fan, the movie started tanking, and Johansson’s team threatened litigation, he wanted Disney to make this right with her.

Except, Disney didn’t. And its response to the lawsuit was to say that Scarlett Johansson’s claims overlook the devastating impact of the global pandemic. The statement released by The Walt Disney Co., in part, reads:

There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract and furthermore, the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.

Now the question becomes, “Will Kevin Feige come out in public and toss his formidable support in one direction?” Given the sentiments shared above, it seems like Feige would like to be able to defend his talent, which is understandable. What is Marvel if not for the actors who helped the incredibly talented producer build this superhero empire? At the same time, Feige understands where his bread is buttered (for now), and likely just hopes for a quiet solution that keeps the peace, and also establishes a precedent so that this matter doesn’t become a problem down the line.

The next Marvel Studios movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, is a theatrical exclusive. For now. It opens on September 3. Be sure to check out our complete guide to the Upcoming MCU Movies to see when your most anticipated feature is opening near you.

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    Sean O

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    Movie junkie. Infatuated with comic-book films. ReelBlend cohost. Resident dad. Extroverted introvert. Wants to see the Snyder Cut. Managing Director at CinemaBlend.