One of Hollywood’s most contentious, high-stakes lawsuits of late — between Marvel star Scarlett Johansson and Disney, in the wake of Black Widow’s release on Disney+ — has been settled. The suit, filed in late July, alleged that the pivot to both theatrical and streaming releases (via Disney+’s “Premiere Access”) violated Johansson’s contract, which guaranteed that the film would get an exclusive theatrical release — and allegedly caused the actor to lose tens of millions of dollars as a result. Unsurprisingly, the feud grabbed headlines and resulted in back-and-forth exchanges in the media until Disney moved to settle the contract dispute in a private setting. It seems that’s exactly what happened.
And, apparently, everyone is happy, at least when speaking to the press. The Hollywood Reporter quotes Johansson as saying “I am happy to have resolved our differences with Disney. I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together over the years and have greatly enjoyed my creative relationship with the team. I look forward to continuing our collaboration in years to come.”
In case you’re wondering “Wait, she’s gonna work with Disney again why?” (especially after the company called out her “callous disregard” for the circumstances surrounding the covid-19 pandemic that led to Black Widow’s delayed and eventual streaming release, and revealed she’d pulled down a salary of $US20 ($28) million on Black Widow), THR also has a quote from Disney Studios chairman Alan Bergman that reminds us there were already collaborations in the works prior to the salary dispute: “I’m very pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding Black Widow. We appreciate her contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to working together on a number of upcoming projects, including Disney’s Tower of Terror.”
We’d almost forgotten about that Tower of Terror movie, which was reported back in June as a vehicle for Johansson (as well as the House of Mouse theme parks, since it’ll be based on Disney’s no-longer-in-existence Twilight Zone-inspired ride).
Surely that one project wasn’t enough for Disney to fork over major bucks to keep one movie star happy — as THR notes, “terms of the deal were not disclosed,” but presumably there were plenty of zeroes. However, perhaps the company sought to smooth things over with Johansson, the only star (so far) to sue over a perceived contract violation due to the shifting theatrical landscape brought on by the pandemic, while it figures out how to best approach film releases, including ensuring fair payouts for all involved, moving forward.