Here's why Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over 'Black Widow'
Scarlett Johansson has slapped a case against Disney. The Black Widow actress, in a lawsuit filed on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims that Disney has breached the contract by releasing the movie on the streamer, alongside its theatrical premiere. She alleged that a large part of her income was based on its theatrical release, and this move has slashed the same.
Johansson's lawsuit slams Disney for "intentionally" violating the agreement. No prior notice or post-recognition of the digital release was given to the actress or her representative. As per the filing, the agreement to release the movie exclusively in cinemas was sought in 2019 from Disney+. Breaching the same, Black Widow premiered on the streamer with a $30 premium price, cutting down the star's earning.
Johansson's lawsuit claims, "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." Meanwhile, Disney's representative has declined all the allegations, saying, "Ms. Johansson's lawsuit had no merit."
"The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the prolonged global effects of COVID-19 pandemic," the response read. It added that rather than a loss, the performer earned "additional compensation on top of the $20 [million] she has received to date," since the film released on "Disney+ with Premier Access." "Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson's contract," it reiterated.
On the other hand, Johansson's representative claims Disney is "hiding behind COVID-19" for their benefit and not acknowledging where they have faulted. Black Widow has grossed $319mn globally until now. On the day of the premiere, the movie earned $80mn in North America, $78mn overseas, and $60mn on Disney+. Unfortunately, it has become the lowest-earning Marvel movie of all time, according to Variety.
Black Widow is a standalone story of the character Natasha Romanoff. Florence Pugh, as Yelena Belova, serves as Romanoff's sister figure, who was trained as Black Widow in Red Room. Romanoff confronts her dark past in the movie, and continues to fight against the dangerous conspiracies. Black Widow was released on July 9 globally, except in a few countries because of the COVID-19.