Black Widow: Disney and Scarlett Johansson settle lawsuit

Disney says its ‘looking forward’ to working with Johansson again ‘on a number of upcoming projects, including ‘Tower of Terror’

Peony Hirwani
Friday 01 October 2021 06:09
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Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over streaming release of ‘Black Widow’

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Scarlett Johansson and the Walt Disney Company settled a legal dispute on Thursday over the streaming release of Black Widow.

The 36-year-old actor had sued Disney in July alleging the online release of the Marvel superhero movie violated her contract.

Black Widow was released simultaneously in cinemas and on Disney+ in the US on 9 July.

The filing, which was reviewed by The Independent, alleged Johansson’s compensation for the movie was “largely based” on Black Widow’s box office performance.

Details of the settlement agreement between Disney and Johansson have not been disclosed.

“I’m very pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding Black Widow,” Disney Studios chairman Alan Bergman said in a statement.

Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh in ‘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,” he added.

Johansson, in her own statement, said she was “happy to have resolved” 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,” she said.

The main issue between the two parties was that Disney released the film on its streaming service on the same day it released the movie in theatres.

The suit also alleged that “Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the Agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms Johansson from realising the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel.”

“The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Walt Disney Company had told The Independent in a statement at the time.

“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,” it added.

After its release, Black Widow made more than $215m (£154m) at the box office and streaming services in its opening weekend.

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