Disney Responds To Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow Lawsuit

Earlier today, Scarlett Johansson shocked the industry by suing Walt Disney Pictures over the Disney+ release of Black Widow. Additionally, Johansson’s legal team suggested that the non-theatrical exclusive window potentially cost her $50 million. Now, Disney’s legal team is firing back and also revealing exactly how much Johansson was paid.

“There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,” said a Disney spokesperson via Deadline. “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.”

It’s not unusual for two sides to verbally attack each other ahead of any litigation. The first battle is always in the court of public opinion long before a case goes to a judge. Regardless, the split is surprising after Johansson’s 11-year stint as Black Widow.

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Additionally, Gamespot pointed out a statement in Johansson’s legal filing that quotes Marvel’s chief counsel as acknowledging that the Disney+ release could potentially harm her box office incentives.

“We totally understand that Scarlett’s willingness to do the film and her whole deal is based on the premise that the film would be widely theatrically released like our other pictures. We understand that should the plan change, we would need to discuss this with you and come to an understanding as the deal is based on a series of (very large) box office bonuses.”

Johansson’s suit also contends that she tried to renegotiate her deal with Marvel after the decision was made to release the film on Disney+. However, the lawsuit indicates that Marvel and Disney were not responsive to her concerns.

There are a few potential outcomes. Disney and Johansson could settle out of court or agree to arbitration. Or, the case could go to trial and potentially drag on in court for years. But one thing is clear. If Johansson really believes that she’s due an additional $50 million, then she’s going to fight for it.

What do you think about the latest Black Widow lawsuit developments? Let us know in the comment section below!

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