Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson sued Disney in late July, claiming that her contract with Disney’s Marvel Entertainment promised an exclusive theatrical release, and that her salary was largely based on the film’s performance at the box office.
Reports say that the reason behind Scarlett’s claims is her loss of almost $50 million in bonuses as the film was released on Disney’s streaming service Disney+.
To date, Black Widow is one of the lowest-earning MCU movies, with global revenues of nearly 320 million dollars, a figure that cinema owners are attributing to the simultaneous streaming release.
The film however, is to be Scarlett’s final appearance in the MCU as Black Widow. It had been the only standalone original MCU character movie, delayed for release by a year due to the pandemic.
Disney retorted with a statement that shocked Scarlett further as they termed the lawsuit “especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Disney also exposed the fact that Scarlett has already earned $20 million USD from the franchise and that “the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation.”
Upon the breaking of the news, Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in the MCU (Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers End Game), shared a link to a report on Twitter where he wrote: “Told ‘em they should’ve made a #Drax movie but noooooo!”
While it was unclear what he meant, it seemed to many that he was jokingly suggesting that he wished Disney to make a standalone movie on Drax the Destroyer. What many fans took away from his tweet was that he wouldn’t have sued Disney like Scarlett has.
Despite protecting each other numerous times on-screen, none of Scarlett’s Marvel co-stars have come forward in her defense. Moreover, Marvel big boss Kevin Feige was said to be “angered and embarrassed” by the whole situation, although he hasn’t made any public statements.
In contrast, bigwigs like Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Jeremy Renner, and James Gunn expressed their support for Chris Pratt when he was surrounded by allegations that he followed a church that is known for homophobia and hatred for the LGBTQ community.
Needless to say, the Avengers failed to assemble on this one.
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