Scarlett Johansson sues Disney for streaming 'Black Widow'

Scarlett Johansson sues Disney for streaming 'Black Widow'

Scarlett Johansson has said time and time again that she is ready to leave Natasha Romanoff behind, but it appears she has some Black Widow business to wrap up first.

"Scarlett Johansson, star of the latest Marvel movie Black Widow, filed a lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Disney, alleging her contract was breached when the media giant released the film on its Disney+ streaming service at the same time as its theatrical debut," Joe Flint and Erich Schwartzel of The Wall Street Journal first reported Thursday (July 29).

"Ms. Johansson said in the suit that her agreement with Disney’s Marvel Entertainment guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release, and her salary was based in large part on the box-office performance of the film," they continued.

The Hollywood Reporter relayed a subsequent statement from an unnamed Disney spokesperson later Thursday: "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. 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."

Marvel Studios' Black Widow hit theaters and HBO Max simultaneously on July 9, though it was originally scheduled for a May 2020 release before several COVID-related delays interfered. Fans were still hungry for it when it finally did arrive:

Directed by Cate Shortland, the prequel follows Natasha's adventures between Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and it also explores her sacrificial death in Avengers: Endgame (2019).

After Johansson, the supporting cast was headlined by Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz.

Megan Armstrong (@megankarmstrong) is a writer with previous work appearing in places such as Billboard, Bleacher Report, GQ and others. She's most interested in writing about people and how they live their lives, through the framework of music, entertainment and sports.

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