Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over Black Widow’s online release
James R | On 29, Jul 2021
Scarlett Johansson has filed a lawsuit against Disney over Black Widow’s online release.
The first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the long-awaited comic book blockbuster sees Johansson reprise her role as Natasha Romanoff for the last time, as she struggles to confront the darker parts of her ledger and deal with unfinished business.
The film was released in cinemas in the UK and US on 9th July, and also released that week on the streaming service Disney+, with a Premier Access fee of £19.99 on top of the £7.99 monthly Disney+ subscription.
Previous films to go down the Premier Access route include Cruella, Raya and the Last Dragon and Mulan, with Disney hailing the release of Black Widow a success, taking $80 million at the US box office – the largest domestic opening weekend since Star Wars Episode IX in December 2019, and $78 million at the international box office, plus more than more than $60 million in consumer spend via Disney+ globally.
Now, Johansson has filed a lawsuit claiming that the release breached her contract, costing her potential compensation, which is based on box ofice receipts. You can read the whole thing here (via Deadline).
Disney has responded by saying that “there is no merit whatsoever” to the filing.
“The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Disney. “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.”
The filing comes just as Disney prepares to release another high-profile blockbuster, Jungle Cruise, in cinemas and on Disney+ with a Premier Access fee on the same date.