After two long months, Scarlett Johansson and Disney have finally settled their lawsuit over the release strategy for the actress’s blockbuster film Black Widow, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Specifically, Johansson and her team alleged a breach of contract once Disney decided to release Black Widow in theaters and via Disney+ Premier Access on the same day. While terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, it appears that the two have recognized their strength when working together, as both have made statements that bode well for their professional relationship.
Johansson, an extremely talented and bankable star, has been working with Marvel since her first appearance as Natasha Romanoff in 2010’s Iron Man 2. Her solo film had been a long, long time coming, so the lawsuit certainly marred what should have been a triumphant moment for both parties. The actress hopefully has been recognized through this settlement, and her comments would appear to support this:
“I am happy to have resolved our differences with Disney. 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.”
Disney has also released their own comments on the settlement, courtesy of chairman Alan Bergman, who said the following:
“I’m very pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding ‘Black Widow.’ 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.'”
The Tower of Terror comment is particularly interesting, with many speculating that the lawsuit would immediately bring that project to a standstill. Several major players came forth to support Johansson and her team in their endeavor, from MCU counterpart Elizabeth Olsen to Emma Stone, whose own shot at a lawsuit over Cruella‘s hybrid release was undoubtedly negotiated through the forthcoming sequel. Johansson‘s decision to take Disney to court does bring forth several interesting questions about stars and their earnings with hybrid releases, as several major films, from Wonder Woman 1984 to Jungle Cruise, received day-and-date debuts.
It’s fairly relieving for this matter to be settled, as the back-and-forth between Disney and Johansson was rather ugly. Johansson had alleged that the hybrid model robbed the film from larger box office receipts, a prospect that nets more revenue for the actress given her backend deals. Disney claimed that Johansson had already made $20 million for the film and painted her as insensitive to the current state of the world and COVID-19. While their comments are fairly ambiguous and vague, hopefully, this situation has forced studios to examine the dynamics and relationships they forge with creative talent.
Black Widow is currently available on Blu-ray, DVD, or Digital, as well as on streaming via Disney+ at no additional cost for subscribers.