Scarlett Johansson, who plays Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has sued Disney, which controls Marvel Studios, for violating her contract by distributing the film in theatres and on Disney+ immediately in the United States and a few other countries. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the facts.
According to the WSJ, the case was filed on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. According to Johansson, her deal with Universal studios Marvel Entertainment included a promise that the film would be distributed solely in theatres and that her salary would be determined by the film’s box office performance.
It said, “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 film Black Widow, which has yet to be launched in India, reintroduces Johansson’s Russian spy become Avenger as she confronts demons from her past, especially the Red Room, which is managed by a former Russian general that educates and tries to manipulate young girls to become deadly assassins.
The complaint has gotten a response from Disney. Variety cited a statement that said, “There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Following the popularity of Mulan, Raya and the Last Dragon, and Cruella de Vil, Disney launched Black Widow on Premiere Access, its PVOD programme. This came after Warner Bros. declared in late 2020 that every movie released in 2021 will be a hybrid release on the same day.
Disney+ subscribers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and a few other countries could pay $30 or equivalent to watch the film at home with Premier Access.
Disney felt comfortable sharing streaming data for the first time with Black Widow. According to reports, the Disney+ Premier Access release of Black Widow earned the company $60 million in its first weekend. This was on top of a 158 million dollar box office, which was by far the best for a pandemic film. The House of Mouse may have benefited greatly from Premier Access, but Johansson clearly believes it was unjust to her.