In a story many never saw coming, Scarlett Johansson is suing her former employers Disney and Marvel over a breach of agreement relating to Marvel Studios’ Black Widow and its release.
In a new story from The Wall Street Journal, the actress filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court against Disney. WSJ notes the reported lawsuit alleges Johansson’s “contract was breached when the media giant released the film on its Disney+ streaming service at the same time as its theatrical debut.”
The Black Widow actress stated in the suit that her agreement with the studio guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release, which was changed when the film was released on Disney+ the same day for a premier access price point. The suit also notes that her salary was based largely on the box office performance, which is known in the industry as a back-end deal.
“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.
In a statement, John Berlinski, an attorney at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP who represents the actress said, “This will surely not be the last case where Hollywood talent stands up to Disney and makes it clear that, whatever the company may pretend, it has a legal obligation to honor its contracts.”
In the report, WSJ notes that representatives for Scarlett Johansson sought to renegotiate her contract after learning about Black Widow‘s release in theatres and on Disney+. The suit claims that Disney and Marvel were unresponsive.
Black Widow marked Johansson’s ninth and seemingly final Marvel movie. She first appeared in the MCU way back in 2010 during Iron Man 2.
In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow,” Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
Black Widow is directed by Cate Shortland (Lore) and sees Scarlett Johansson reprising her role as Natasha Romanoff alongside William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross, Florence Pugh (Fighting With My Family) as Yelena Belova, O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) as Mason, David Harbour (Stranger Things) as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) as Melina Vostokoff and Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) as Dreykov.