Scarlett Johansson is taking Disney to court as she accuses the conglomerate of breaching her contract by releasing Black Widow on Disney+ streaming while it simultaneously opened in theaters.
In a statement made in the lawsuit, Scarlett accused Disney of disregarding the agreement that “the release of the picture would be a ‘theatrical release'” and that the corporation “directed Marvel to violate its pledge and instead release the picture on the Disney+ streaming service the very same day it was released in movie theaters,” according to a story by CNN Business.
Disney responded to the claim with a scathing retort as it defended itself against the allegations.
As reported by CNBC, Disney fired back at the A-list actress, stating that “there is no merit whatsoever to this filing” and that the suit shows a “callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The scathing communication continued as Disney claimed it “complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract” and dropped a major reveal about the actress’ take-home pay from the film’s success.
“…The release of ‘Black Widow’ on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20 (million) she has received to date,” the statement said.
Both Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh filmed while sick with pneumonia
The pandemic severely impacted the original planned release of the highly anticipated next installment in the Marvel universe, with Black Widow being delayed a total of three times in 2020.
Earlier this year, the film’s director, Cate Shortland, revealed that the movies’ two main stars, Florence Pugh and Scarlett Johansson, both contracted pneumonia during the grueling filming.
She praised the actors in an interview with The Gentlewoman, saying that Scarlett was a trooper and a joy to work with.
Emma Stone may be the next star to sue Disney over breach of contract
Following the breaking news about Scarlett suing Disney, the rumor mill got to work with speculation about possible lawsuits being filed by other Disney film stars.
Cruella actress Emma Stone may be next in line to pursue defending her contractual rights, according to former THR editor Matt Belloni in his bi-weekly newsletter called What I’m Hearing.
Although the simultaneous release of the movie to both theaters and Disney+ didn’t appear to impact the overall success of the film, it did not do as well as some suspect it might have had it not been available to stream at the time of its opening.